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Boeing: Airlines ground 737 Max 8 jets after latest crash

Several airlines have grounded Boeing 737 Max 8 jets following a deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash.

The flight crashed minutes after takeoff on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board.

It was the second disaster in five months involving a Boeing 737 Max 8. 

China’s aviation regulator has ordered domestic airlines to suspend flights using that model. Ethiopian Airlines and Cayman Airways, have also grounded their 737 Max 8 aircraft.

While experts warn it is too early to say what caused the Ethiopian Airlines disaster, it comes after the same model crashed in a flight operated by Lion Air in October.

The plane lost altitude soon after takeoff, killing 189 people on board. 

“Given that two accidents both involved newly delivered Boeing 737 Max 8 planes and happened during take-off phase, they have some degree of similarity,” the Civil Aviation Administration of China said in a statement.

The Chinese regulator ordered local carriers to ground all 737 Max 8 flights by 18:00 local time (10:00 GMT). 

Air China, China Eastern Airlines, and China Southern Airlines are among the carriers affected. More than 90 Boeing 737 Max 8 models are in use in mainland China.

Shares in French aerospace group Safran, which makes the engines for the 737, fell on Monday. 

The aircraft is relatively new to the skies, having only been in commercial use since 2017.

Graphic showing the Boeing 737 Max 8 planePresentational white space

Boeing said it was “deeply saddened” by the crash and is sending a team to provide technical assistance to the investigation. 

The investigation will be led by Ethiopian authorities co-ordinating with teams of experts from Boeing and the US National Transportation Safety Board.

Which other airlines use Boeing’s 737 Max 8?

The Boeing 737 Max has been the fastest-selling aircraft in the plane maker’s history, with more than 4,500 ordered by 100 different operators globally.

According to the firm’s website, 16 airlines have taken delivery of the 737 Max 8. 

They include SilkAir, SpiceJet, TUI Group, Aerolineas Argentinas, Air Italy and Flydubai.

A spokesperson for Flydubai told Reuters the carrier is “monitoring the situation”. 

Several North American airlines also operate the aircraft and have said they are monitoring the investigation. 

Southwest Airlines flies 31 of the aircraft, while American Airlines and Air Canada each have 24 in their fleet.

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