March 12, 2019 (AMN)Ethiopian Airlines aircraft took off at 8:38am (0638 GMT) from Bole International Airport. Contact was lost six minutes into its flight near Bishoftu, 37 miles southeast of Addis Ababa. The plane impacted near the village of Tulu Fara.
Shares of Boeing plummeted as airlines in Ethiopia, China and Indonesia grounded 737-MAX 8 jets which began flying passengers two years ago. Brazil’s GOL Linhas Aereas just announced on Twitter that it is temporarily suspending commercial operations of its Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets. Norwegian Airlines just released a statement, saying it is temporarily suspending its use of the Boeing 737 MAX.
Tomas Hesthammer, Norwegian’s acting Chief Operating Officer, apologized to customers, saying, “Safety will always remain our top priority.” “Following the decision by the relevant aviation regulatory bodies to temporarily suspend operations of Boeing 737 MAX, Norwegian will not operate any flights with this aircraft type until further notice. We remain in close dialogue with the aviation authorities and Boeing, and follow their instructions and recommendations.
Norwegian has more than 110 Boeing 737–800 aircraft in its fleet, which is not affected by this temporary suspension.
We would like to apologize to customers who will be affected by temporary cancellations and delays, but the safety and security of our customers and colleagues will never be compromised, and once authorities advise to cease operations we will of course comply.
Tomas Hesthammer, Norwegian’s acting Chief Operating Officer said: “In response to the temporary suspension of Being 737 MAX operations by multiple aviation authorities we have taken the decision to not operate flights using this aircraft type until advised otherwise by the relevant aviation authorities. We would like to apologize to customers for any inconvenience caused, however, safety will always remain our top priority.”
The United Kingdom has also as of today banned all Boeing 737 Max planes from departing, arriving or being in its airspace. The U.S. Federal Aviation Authority has ruled the aircraft are airworthy. FAA said investigators have not yet determined whether the issue with the Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed on Sunday is related to the issue that brought down the the same plane operated by Lion Air last year.