CAAC grounds all Chinese registered Boeing 737 MAX 8s; Cayman Airways and Ethiopian Airlines follow suit

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Caijing (财经), an independent magazine based in Beijing has learned that Chinese airlines have replaced the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft on domestic routes with other equipment. An insider revealed to the magazine that the airlines have received a notice from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to temporarily suspend all operations with the 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

The news comes just one day after the fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash, where 149 passengers and 8 crew members lost their lives and the second fatal crash with the aircraft type in the past five months: on 29 October 2018, a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed into the sea off the island of Java shortly after take-off.

On Monday (11 March), the CAAC will discuss the situation again to see if a longer suspension is required.

Vice-Chief of CAAC Li Jian said today: “It is a hard decision to ground all 737 MAX in China and it is unrelated to China-US trade dispute. We have consulted with Boeing and FAA before making the decision and we are working with them closely to solve the issue.

According to the ch-aviation fleets module, Chinese airlines operate 93 out of a total of 339 B737 MAX 8s active around the world. China Southern Airlines operates twenty-three, Air China sixteen, Hainan Airlines eleven, Xiamen Airlines ten, Shanghai Airlines nine, Shandong Airlines six, 9 Air one, Fuzhou Airlines two, Kunming Airlines two, Lucky Air (China) three, and Okay Airways two.

However, Boeing says it has no basis to issue new guidance to operators based on information available so far in Ethiopian Airlines crash investigation.

.A quick glance on Flightradar24 shows that domestic flights that were previously scheduled on the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft have been converted to other types, like the Boeing 737-800.

At moment of writing – on a rush hour Monday morning in China – none of the 96 Chinese registered Boeing 737 MAX 8 are flying. Aviation24.be filtered the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and took two screenshots from the same time frame but with one week difference:

4 March vs 11 March

In Mongolia, MIAT – Mongolian Airlines has confirmed it has grounded its only B737 MAX 8 pending the outcome of the Ethiopian Airlines investigation.

Cayman Airways suspends Max 8 operations

In the wake of the tragic loss of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, 2019, which was being operated by a Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, Cayman Airways extends its condolences to the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew on board that flight.

While the cause of this sad loss is undetermined at this time, we stand by our commitment to putting the safety of our passengers and crew first by maintaining complete and undoubtable safe operations, and as such, we have taken the decision to suspend operations of both our new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, effective from Monday March 11, 2019, until more information is received,” said Cayman Airways President and CEO, Fabian Whorms.

Mr. Whorms said Cayman Airways is currently working in coordination with both the Boeing Corporation and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAACI) to monitor the investigation into Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.

We offer our valued customers our continued assurance that all prudent and necessary actions required for the safe operation of our Max 8’s will be accomplished before the aircraft are returned to service,” he said, adding that some relatively minor, but necessary schedule and capacity changes will be needed over the next few days to manage the flight schedule in instances where the national airline may be short on available aircraft.

We appreciate the understanding and support of our customers as we implement these changes, and apologize in advance for any inconveniences that may be caused,” he said.

Accident Bulletin no. 5 
Issued on March 11, 2019 at 07:08 AM

Following the tragic accident of ET 302/10 March B-737-8 MAX (ET-AVJ), Ethiopian Airlines has decided to ground all B-737-8 MAX fleet effective yesterday March 10, 2019 until further notice.

Although we don’t yet know the cause of the accident, we had to decide to ground the particular fleet as extra safety precaution.

Ethiopian Airlines will release further information as soon as it is available, through the airline’s website and social media pages.

Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX crashes between Ethiopia and Kenya

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