The Australia Civil Aviation Safety Authority suspended on Tuesday, March 12, operations of all Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes in and out of the country's airports, following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight on March 10. According to aviation authorities, the suspension is expected to last until more information regarding the safety risks of operating Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes to and from Australia are conducted. Associated flight disruptions are possible in the coming days and weeks.
On a related note, Singapore has also suspended operations of all Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes in and out of the country.
On March 12, the following countries and airlines have grounded their Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes:
- Argentina - Aerolineas Argentinas (five planes)
- Brazil - GOL (seven planes)
- Cayman Islands - Cayman Airways (two planes)
- China - 102 planes total on 9 Air (three planes), Air China (15 planes), China Eastern (three planes), China Southern (26 planes), Fuzhou Airlines (two planes), Hainan Airlines (11 planes), Kunming Airlines (two planes), Lucky Air (three planes), OKAir (two planes), Shandong Airlines (seven planes), Shanghair Airlines (12 planes), Shenzen Airlines (six planes), Xiamen Air (10 planes)
- Ethiopia - Ethiopian Airlines (four planes)
- Indonesia - Garuda (one plane), Lion Air (10 planes)
- Mexico - Aeromexico (six planes)
- Mongolia - MIAT Mongolian Airlines (one plane)
- Morocco - Royal Air Maroc (one plane)
- Singapore - Silk Air (six planes)
- South Africa - Comair (one plane)
- South Korea - Eastar Jet (two planes)
Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 flying from Addis Ababa to Nairobi crashed shortly after takeoff on March 10, killing all 157 people on board. It is not yet known what caused the crash and an investigation is underway. The same model of plane, a Boeing 737 MAX 8, was also involved in a fatal Lion Air crash in October 2018 that killed all 189 people on board. Should it be determined that the two crashes are linked, a more widespread grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet is to be anticipated.
Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor developments to the situation, anticipate possible flight disruptions (including delays and cancelations) in the coming days, and maintain flexible travel itineraries. Contact your airline directly for more information.
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