Addis Ababa, MINA – Several airlines have grounded Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes over safety concerns following the deadly crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Sunday — as the airline revealed it had recovered the plane’s damaged black box.
Sunday’s tragic incident — which killed all 157 people on board the routine flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Kenya — was the second fatal crash of a 737 MAX 8 in just five months, the New York Post reported.
Another of the planes plummeted into the Java Sea moments after taking off Oct. 29, killing all 189 crew and passengers in an incident similar to Sunday’s.
Ethiopian Airlines revealed Monday it yanked its fleet of 737 MAX 8 planes “as an extra safety precaution.”
The move followed a decision by civilian aviation authorities in China to temporarily ground all 97 of the 737 MAX 8’s in use there.
Cayman Airways also announced it would “suspend operations of both our new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft until more information is received” on Sunday’s crash.
Boeing has delivered 354 of the jets globally and there are 2,912 more on order. But the company was expected to hit turbulence Monday — as Boeing futures plummeted nearly 10 percent pre-market trading overnight in response to the crash.
Iceland Airways, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, however, are standing by the planes.
“Icelandair operates three Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and we have not had any incidents related to them,” the company tweeted. “We will follow the developments of recent events closely and continue to do all we can to ensure safety on board now as before.”
Southwest, which operates 34 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, said it remains “confident in the safety of our fleet.”
American also said it will “closely monitor the investigation.”
Ethiopian Airlines, meanwhile, said it had recovered both Flight 302’s black box and its cockpit voice recorder, which may provide more insight into the fatal flight’s final moments — though an airline official said that the box was damaged and “we will see what we can retrieve from it.”
Eight Americans died in the crash, though US officials have not identified them.
The US National Transportation Safety Administration has sent a team to assist the Ethiopian government in an investigation.(R/R04/P2)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)