Second horrific crash raises questions over safety of Boeing 737 MAX

The scene of the horrific Ethiopian Airlines crash.

Following the fateful Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302/10 crash yesterday – which killed 149 passengers and eight crew members – airlines around the globe have taken the decision to ground their new Boeing 737 MAX fleet amid safety concerns.

Boeing, which saw its shares plummet by 9% on the New York Stock Exchange after the crash, has yet to respond to the safety concerns but has postponed the debut of its new 777X jetliner.

While the investigation into yesterday’s tragic accident is still ongoing, there are concerns that this is the second fatal crash in less than six months involving a 737 MAX airplane.

In October, Lion Air’s Boeing 737 MAX crashed off the coast of Indonesia shortly after take-off. A total of 189 people were killed and analysts have pointed out a number of similarities in the two crashes.

Today, Ethiopian Airlines said in a statement, it was grounding its fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft while Chinese aviation authorities have also advised all airlines in the country to ground their fleets.

Cayman Airways, the main carrier of the Cayman Islands, said it would do the same until "more information is received." Singapore’s SilkAir has also grounded its fleet of Boeing 737 MAX.

While other local airlines have yet to respond Comair – which purchased eight of the aircraft last year – said in a statement it would “continue to monitor the various investigations by the relevant authorities”. CEO, Erik Venter said the group was also in close contact with both Boeing and the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA).

“The 737 MAX 8 is one of the most commonly used aircraft in many airlines today and by November 2018, 330 737 MAX 8 aircraft were in operation globally,” said Venter. “If Comair receives information that requires us to reassess the situation, we will take appropriate action.”

Ethiopian Airlines today announced that the Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) of ET302 had been recovered.


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