Singapore to suspend operations of all Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes

Singapore: Singapore has decided to suspend operations of all Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft following the Ethiopian Airlines and Thai Lion Air crashes which involved planes of the same make.

This decision will directly affect the operations of Singapore Airlines’ regional arm, SilkAir, whose fleet has six of the jets, reports The Straits Times.

The suspension of operations of the aircraft will take effect from 2 pm (local time) today in Singapore. No Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet will be allowed to or from Singapore once the suspension comes into force.

“The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) is working with Changi Airport Group and the affected airlines to minimise any impact to travelling passengers,” a statement issued by CAAS said.

“During the temporary suspension, CAAS will gather more information and review the safety risk associated with the continued operation of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft into and out of Singapore,” it said.

Other airlines which use the Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets to Singapore, are China Southern Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Shandong Airlines and Thai Lion Air.

On Sunday, all 157 people on board lost their lives when the Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet, operated by Ethiopian Airlines, crashed a few minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport. The black box has since been recovered as investigators scurry to establish any links between the latest crash and last year’s Lion Air crash, which involved a Boeing jet of the same make.

As many as 189 people were killed in October last year, when a Lion Air jet – a Boeing 737 MAX 8 – crashed in the Java Sea, close to Jakarta, Indonesia.

Most of the countries and carriers where the said jets are being used have taken precautions following the tragic crashes. South Korea and India launched a special inspection of the planes, while China, Ethiopian Airlines and Cayman Airways have grounded their Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet.