Boeing 737 Max, Boeing, India, Ethiopian AirlinesCountries and airlines around the globe are grounding their Boeing 737 Max planes since Sunday. The aviation authorities in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, Indonesia, China, India and other countries have either grounded or discontinued the services of the Boeing variant in their respective airspace.

The Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airline jet crash is the second crash of a 737 Max 8 plane in less than five months. Last October, a Max 8 flight operated by Lion Air crashed into the Java Sea. In both the incidents, the entire crew and passengers on board were killed.

Reportedly, the pilots of both fatal flights unsuccessfully tried to turn back to the airport a few minutes after takeoff. The aircraft in question had experienced drastic fluctuations in vertical speed during ascent. Technically, the negative vertical speeds should be recorded only when an aircraft is about to reach its destination and departs from cruising altitude.

A glitch with the new software system (manoeuvring characteristics augmentation system (MCAS)) on these planes was also noted. As per FAA and Boeing, a software upgrade is due in April which will give pilots greater control over the plane in case problems emerge with the planes’ safety systems.
Global ban on Boeing 737 Max 8s

China was the first country to order its domestic carriers to ground the nearly 100 Boeing 737 MAX 8s in operation. Meanwhile, in the past two days Indonesia, Mongolia, Ethiopia, Oman and UAE followed the suit. In addition, several countries started closing their respective airspace to these planes. The countries include Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, UK, the European Union, India and New Zealand.Several carriers, including Cayman Airways, South African airline Comair, Aeromexico and Brazil’s Gol Airlines, have also independently decided to suspend operations of this aircraft model pending reviews. Argentina’s Aerolineas Argentinas reportedly flat out refused to fly the jet.The airlines and regulators which took preventive measures against Boeing 737 Max:AEROMEXICO

AMERICAN AIRLINES

AUSTRALIA’S CIVIL AVIATION SAFETY AUTHORITY

BERMUDA CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY

BRAZIL’S AIR TRAVEL REGULATOR

GOL LINHAS AEREAS INTELIGENTES SA

CANADA’S TRANSPORT MINISTRY

AIR CANADA

WESTJET

CAYMAN AIRWAYS

CHINA’S AVIATION REGULATOR

COMAIR

ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES

KUWAIT CIVIL AVIATION

MIAT MONGOLIAN AIRLINES

NORWEGIAN AIR

NEW ZEALAND’S CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY

FIJI AIRWAYS

S7 AIRLINES

SINGAPORE CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY

SINGAPORE AIRLINES

SOUTH KOREA TRANSPORT MINISTRY

EASTAR JET

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES

SWISS FEDERAL OFFICE OF CIVIL AVIATION

TUI AIRWAYS

TURKEY TRANSPORT MINISTRY/TURKISH AIRLINES

UAE GENERAL CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY

FLYDUBAI

UK CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY

VIETNAM’S CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY

BAMBOO AIRWAYS

VIRGIN AUSTRALIA

India reacts to the Boeing 737 Max crisis:

On Tuesday evening, India grounded Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes. Directorate General of Civil Aviation announced that these planes “will be grounded till appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations”.

Furthermore, the government also banned the entry and transit of the Boeing variant in the Indian airspace from 4 pm today. The deadline, according to a DGCA spokesperson, was picked “to cater to situations where aircraft can be positioned at maintenance facilities and international flights can reach their destinations”.

The impact on airlines and air passengers:
India ranks 7 in the top 10 countries for air travel, according to the global airlines trade group International Air Transport Association. With a major portion of Indians opting air mode for domestic and international commutation, the new move is likely to hit Indian airline business, hard.
Boeing 737 Max 8s are operated by two airliners – Jet Airways and SpiceJet, in the country. While Jet Airways owns five of these planes, SpiceJet has a fleet of 13 Max 8s.
Though all the aircraft of the former was previously grounded due to the airline’s financial troubles, the SpiceJet’s fleet was in operation till the DGCA’s new order came in.
The SpiceJet airline had cancelled 14 flights earlier today. It added that the flight operations will be back on from the next day.
“Of the 76 planes in our fleet, 64 aircraft are in operations and we are confident of minimizing the inconvenience to our passengers and attain normalcy in our operations,” tweeted Tushar Srivastava, the airline’s Head of Communications.

Airline fares to skyrocket: 

Due to various reasons, Jet Airways and Indigo were already grounding most of its flights in the country. This has led to hiking of airfares in the country already. Now with SpiceJet fleet joining the team have posted a great dilemma for the passengers.

In the past month, IndiGo and Jet Airways have cancelled around 200 flights daily.
According to media reports, spot fares have risen by up to 20% on key metro routes since January this year. During this time of the year, the flight schedules are usually more or less normal.

This will also impact domestic air traffic growth. Jet had already dropped to a 52-month low at 9.1% year-on-year during January mainly due to higher fares.Civil Aviation Ministry’s take:

The DGCA, on Monday, reviewed recent snags and defects reported in the Indian Boeing737 Max 8s. Reportedly, it found “no significant concern” and had issued additional safety guidelines for flying these planes. Among other things, the regulator said that pilots flying these planes must have at least 1,000 hours of flying experience. The minimum experience level for co-pilot is fixed at 500 hours.

“While passenger safety is a zero tolerance issue, efforts are already on to minimise the impact on passenger movement as their convenience is important,” Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu tweeted on Tuesday night.

Boeing 737 Max explained:
The Boeing 737 MAX is a narrow-body aircraft series designed and produced by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the fourth generation of the Boeing 737, succeeding the Boeing 737 Next Generation (NG). The fleet is the latest in the company’s successful 737 line, which includes Max 7, 8, 9 and 10 models.

Boeing has delivered 350 of the Max 8 model out of 5,011 orders till January end. The top three identified airline customers for the 737 Max are Southwest Airlines (280), flydubai (251), and Lion Air (251).The Max 8 which crashed in Adis Ababa was one of 30 ordered as part of Ethiopian Airlines’ expansion. It underwent “rigorous first check maintenance” on 4 February.

Though a global panic is in place regarding the Boeing fleet, the company is yet to announce any action regarding the matter. There are more than three hundred 737 Max planes in service around the globe.
However, if Boeing orders a global grounding and halts deliveries of the new jets until April might also end up being minimal to a company. According to reports based on a three-month grounding data, the cost of grounding all 737 Max planes could be between $1 billion and $5 billion.
As a matter of fact, Boeing has previously grounded an entire fleet of planes. In 2013, the entire fleet of 787 Dreamliners was grounded because the planes’ batteries were catching fire.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here