UAE bans operations of Boeing 737 MAX models 

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 13, 2019 16:28 hrs
Boeing 737 Max aircraft (Image Courtesy: Boeing)

Joining a host of other nations, the United Arab Emirates has issued a ban on the operation of Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 jets in its airspace following the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash which killed all 157 people on board.

The issuance of the directive by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) led to flydubai's fleet of 11 Boeing 737 8 and two Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft being grounded, according to the Government of Dubai's media office.

"flydubai is adjusting its schedule to minimise disruption to passengers and will operate flights with its fleet of Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Where there are flight cancellations flydubai will contact passengers directly," the office further tweeted.

The GCAA took the decision, effective from March 13, as a "precautionary measure". Furthermore, the ban is "aimed toward protecting public safety in the air and on the ground," according to Gulf News. The decision applies to all carriers landing or taking off from any of UAE's airports.

Countries including Australia, Singapore, UK, Ireland, France, India, Netherlands have also disallowed the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft from operating in its airspace. A host of carriers like Jet Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Aeromexico, Turkish Airlines have also grounded their fleets containing the said aircraft, citing consumer safety. 

Meanwhile, the United States Aviation Regulator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Tuesday said that there is "no basis" to ground the Boeing 737 Max 8.

Questions regarding the safety of the widely used Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft rose after the jets of the said make were involved in two air crashes in the last five months.

On Sunday, flight number 302 of the Ethiopian airlines - a Boeing 737 MAX 8 - crashed a few minutes after takeoff from Adis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board.

An aircraft of the same make was also involved in the Lion Airlines plane crash in the Java Sea near Jakarta, Indonesia last year. Here too, the aircraft crashed a few minutes after taking off, claiming the lives of all 189 people on board.