2019 Boeing 737 MAX groundings

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2019 Boeing 737 MAX groundings
Boeing 737-8 MAX N8704Q rotated.jpg
Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in Boeing livery (July 2016)
DateMarch 11, 2019 (2019-03-11) – ongoing (10 days)
CauseCrashing of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610, causing 346 fatalities within five months.

In March 2019, the Boeing 737 MAX passenger airliner was grounded by airlines and governments worldwide following two crashes of the aircraft within five months that killed all 346 people aboard both flights. On October 29, 2018, Lion Air Flight 610 crashed into the Java Sea twelve minutes after takeoff with 189 passengers and crew. On March 10, 2019, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed six minutes after takeoff with 157 passengers and crew.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes Designs, assembles, markets and sells commercial jet aircraft

Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) is a division of the Boeing Company. It designs, assembles, markets, and sells jet airliners and business jets ; it also provides product-related maintenance and training to customers worldwide. It operates from division headquarters in Renton, Washington, with more than a dozen engineering, manufacturing, and assembly facilities located throughout the U.S. and internationally. BCA includes the assets of the Douglas Aircraft division of the former McDonnell Douglas Corporation, which merged with Boeing in 1997.

Boeing 737 MAX Airliner family by Boeing

The Boeing 737 MAX is a narrow-body aircraft series designed and produced by Boeing Commercial Airplanes as the fourth generation of the Boeing 737, succeeding the Boeing 737 Next Generation (NG).

Airliner aircraft designed for commercial transportation of passengers and cargo

An airliner is a type of aircraft for transporting passengers and air cargo. Such aircraft are most often operated by airlines. Although the definition of an airliner can vary from country to country, an airliner is typically defined as an aeroplane intended for carrying multiple passengers or cargo in commercial service. The largest of them are wide-body jets which are called also twin-aisle because they generally have two separate aisles running from the front to the back of the passenger cabin. These are usually used for long-haul flights between airline hubs and major cities. A smaller, more common class of airliners is the narrow-body or single-aisle. These are generally used for short to medium-distance flights with fewer passengers than their wide-body counterparts.

Contents

On March 11 Ethiopian Airlines announced it had grounded its 737 MAX 8 fleet "effective yesterday March 10". [1] [2] On March 11, the China Civil Aviation Administration, citing its zero-tolerance policy for any safety hazards, became the first government authority to ground its 737 MAX 8 aircraft. [3] [4] Shortly after, the aircraft was grounded in Indonesia, Mongolia, Singapore and other countries, either voluntarily by airlines or by order of government. [5]

Civil Aviation Administration of China Peoples Republic of China government body overseeing civilian airflight

The Civil Aviation Administration of China, formerly the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China, is the aviation authority under the Ministry of Transport of the People's Republic of China. It oversees civil aviation and investigates aviation accidents and incidents. As the aviation authority responsible for China, it concludes civil aviation agreements with other aviation authorities, including those of the Special administrative regions of China which are categorized as "special domestic". It directly operated its own airline, China's aviation monopoly, until 1988. The agency is headquartered in Dongcheng District, Beijing.

In the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration initially stated it had not received any evidence to justify taking action against the 737 MAX. On March 13 President Trump announced the U.S. would ground the aircraft, and the FAA explained that new information about the similarity of the two crashes supported the government's decision. The agency said there was a "possibility of a shared cause" for the accidents. [6] [7] [8] Panama's aviation authority became the last to ground their fleet. Several countries not served by the 737 MAX fleet imposed an airspace ban on the aircraft, effectively barring newly produced aircraft from leaving the factory. [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] The worldwide fleet of 737 MAX aircraft at the time of the FAA grounding was 387. [16]

Federal Aviation Administration United States Government agency dedicated to civil aviation matters

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is a governmental body of the United States with powers to regulate all aspects of civil aviation in that nation as well as over its surrounding international waters. Its powers include the construction and operation of airports, air traffic management, the certification of personnel and aircraft, and the protection of U.S. assets during the launch or re-entry of commercial space vehicles. Powers over neighboring international waters were delegated to the FAA by authority of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

The Civil Aviation Authority is the civil aviation authority of Panama. Its headquarters are in Building 805 of the former Albrook Air Force Station. Decree No. 147 of August 23, 1932 established the agency. Since July 2014, its Director General is Alfredo Fonseca Mora.

In each accident, the aircraft involved was less than four months old. The FAA and Transport Canada Civil Aviation stated that satellite tracking data showed similar flight profiles, which indicated that soon after takeoff both airplanes pitched down multiple times and experienced extreme fluctuations in upward and downward speed, as the pilots evidently struggled for control. Both pilots radioed their intention to return to the airport. [17] [18] Attention quickly focused on an automated anti-stall flight control system ("MCAS") newly introduced on the 737 MAX.

Stall may refer to:

Aircraft flight control system aircraft system utilized to control flight surfaces

A conventional fixed-wing aircraft flight control system consists of flight control surfaces, the respective cockpit controls, connecting linkages, and the necessary operating mechanisms to control an aircraft's direction in flight. Aircraft engine controls are also considered as flight controls as they change speed.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Inspector General opened an investigation into the FAA's approval of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft series; the probe focuses on potential failures in the FAA's safety-review and certification process. The day after the Ethiopian Airlines crash, a federal grand jury issued a subpoena on behalf of the U.S. Justice Department for documents related to development of the 737 MAX. [19]

United States Department of Transportation federal executive department focusing on transportation

The United States Department of Transportation is a federal Cabinet department of the U.S. government concerned with transportation. It was established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966, and began operation on April 1, 1967. It is governed by the United States Secretary of Transportation.

Office of Inspector General for the Department of Transportation

The U.S.Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General is one of the Inspector General offices created by the Inspector General Act of 1978. The Inspector General for the Department of Transportation, like the Inspectors General of other federal departments and agencies, is charged with monitoring and auditing department programs to combat waste, fraud, and abuse.

A grand jury is a jury – a group of citizens – empowered by law to conduct legal proceedings and investigate potential criminal conduct, and determine whether criminal charges should be brought. A grand jury may subpoena physical evidence or a person to testify. A grand jury is separate from the courts, which do not preside over its functioning.

Background

737 MAX design

The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) was developed for the 737 MAX to prevent stalls in flaps-retracted, low-speed, nose-up flight. [20] The MCAS uses airspeed and other sensor data to make an attempt at computing when a dangerous condition has developed and then trims the aircraft nose down. [21]

Stall (fluid dynamics) abrupt reduction in lift due to flow separation

In fluid dynamics, a stall is a reduction in the lift coefficient generated by a foil as angle of attack increases. This occurs when the critical angle of attack of the foil is exceeded. The critical angle of attack is typically about 15 degrees, but it may vary significantly depending on the fluid, foil, and Reynolds number.

Boeing 737 MAX aircraft have engines mounted higher and further forward than previous 737 models. According to The Air Current, "the relocated engines and the refined nacelle shape" cause an upward pitching moment. In order to pass Part 25 certification requirements, Boeing employed the MCAS to automatically apply nose-down trim when the aircraft is in steep turns or in low-speed, flaps-retracted flight. When the angle of attack (AOA) exceeds a limit that depends on airspeed and altitude, the system activates without notice to the pilot. The system is temporarily deactivated when a pilot trims the aircraft using a switch on the yoke. [21]

The system is sensitive to failure of AOA sensors mounted outside the aircraft. [21] The FAA and Boeing made the AOA Disagree alert an optional feature for the 737 MAX, deciding it was not critical for safe operation. [22] Following the crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 soon after takeoff, for which several technical experts implicated the MCAS, [23] Boeing announced a planned software upgrade that notifies pilots of a sensor failure. [24] [25] It will be deployed to aircraft operators "in the coming weeks", the company said on March 11, 2019. [24]

Lion Air Flight 610 crash

PK-LQP, the aircraft involved in the crash of Flight 610 B737M8-PK-LQP.jpg
PK-LQP, the aircraft involved in the crash of Flight 610

On October 29, 2018, Lion Air Flight 610, a scheduled domestic flight operated by the Indonesian airline Lion Air from Soekarno–Hatta International Airport in Jakarta to Depati Amir Airport in Pangkal Pinang, crashed into the Java Sea 12 minutes after takeoff. All 189 passengers and crew were killed in the accident. [26] [27] [28] [29]

The preliminary report tentatively attributed the accident to the erroneous AoA data and automatic nose-down trim commanded by MCAS. [30] [12]

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash

ET-AVJ, the aircraft involved in the crash of Flight 302 Ethiopian Airlines ET-AVJ takeoff from TLV (46461974574).jpg
ET-AVJ, the aircraft involved in the crash of Flight 302

On March 10, 2019, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a scheduled international passenger flight operated by Ethiopian Airlines from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, crashed six minutes after takeoff near Bishoftu, killing all 157 passengers and crew aboard the aircraft. [31] [32] [32] [33] [34]

Initial reports indicated that the Flight 302 pilot struggled to control the airplane in a manner similar to circumstances of the Lion Air crash. [35] A stabilizer trim jackscrew found in the wreckage of Ethiopian flight 302 was set to put the aircraft into a dive. [36] Experts suggested this evidence further pointed to MCAS as at fault in the crash. [37] [38] After the crash of flight ET302, Ethiopian Airlines spokesman Biniyam Demssie said in an interview that the procedures for disabling the MCAS were just previously incorporated into pilot training. "All the pilots flying the MAX received the training after the Indonesia crash," he said. "There was a directive by Boeing, so they took that training." [39] Ethiopia’s transportation minister, Dagmawit Moges said that initial data from the recovered flight data recorder of Ethiopian flight 302 shows "clear similarities" with the crash of Lion Air flight 610. [40]

Pilot complaints

In addition to the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, Boeing 737 MAX pilots in the United States registered several complaints about the way the jet performed in flight, including reports that pilots in the United States may have experienced similar issues to what happened in the Lion Air crash. [41] Several reports were filed in the Aviation Safety Reporting System in November 2018, including one where the captain "expressed concern that some systems such as the MCAS are not fully described in the aircraft Flight Manual." [42]

On March 13, 2019, it emerged that pilots on at least two 2018 flights in the U.S. filed safety concerns after the nose of a 737 MAX pitched down suddenly when they engaged the autopilot. [43] In response, the FAA made a statement, "Some of the reports reference possible issues with the autopilot/autothrottle, which is a separate system from MCAS, and/or acknowledge the problems could have been due to pilot error." [44] MCAS only activates if the autopilot is turned off. [45] Boeing had advised pilots to disengage autopilot in nose-down incidents, though MCAS initiates nose-down in response to stall incidents. [46] [47]

Response

Timeline of regulatory responses

March 11

  • China: The Civil Aviation Administration of China orders all domestic airlines to suspend operations of all 737 MAX 8 aircraft by 18:00 local time (10:00 GMT), pending the results of the investigation, thus grounding all 96 Boeing 737 MAX planes in China. [48] [3]
  • Indonesia: Nine hours after China's grounding, [49] the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation issued a temporary suspension on the operation of all eleven 737 MAX 8 aircraft in Indonesia. A nationwide inspection on the type was expected to take place on March 12 [50] to "ensure that aircraft operating in Indonesia are in an airworthy condition." [51]
  • Mongolia: Civil Aviation Authority of Mongolia (MCAA) said in a statement "MCAA has temporarily stopped the 737 MAX flight operated by MIAT Mongolian Airlines from March 11, 2019." [52]
  • South Korea: Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) advised Eastar Jet, the only airline of South Korea to possess Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to ground their models, [53] and three days later issued a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) message to block all Boeing 737 MAX models from landing and departing from all domestic airports. [54]

March 12

  • Singapore: the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, "temporarily suspends" operation of all variants of the 737 MAX aircraft into and out of Singapore. [55]
  • India: Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) released a statement "DGCA has taken the decision to ground the 737 MAX aircraft immediately, pursuant to new inspections. [56]
  • Turkey: Turkish Civil Aviation Authority suspended flights of 737 MAX 8 and 9 type aircraft being operated by Turkish companies in Turkey, and stated that they are also reviewing the possibility of closing the country's airspace for the same. [57]
  • United States: The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an affirmation of the continued airworthiness of the 737 MAX; major United States-based 737 MAX operators Southwest Airlines and American Airlines also expressed confidence. [58]
  • Canada: Minister of Transport Marc Garneau said it was premature to consider groundings and that, "If I had to fly somewhere on that type of aircraft today, I would." [59]

March 13

  • Canada: Minister of Transport Marc Garneau, prompted by receipt of new information, [60] said "There can't be any MAX 8 or MAX 9 flying into, out of or across Canada", effectively grounding all 737 MAX aircraft in Canadian airspace. [61]
  • United States: President Donald Trump announced on March 13, that United States authorities would ground all 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft in the United States. [62] [63] After the President's announcement, the FAA officially ordered the grounding of all 737 MAX 8 and 9 operated by U.S. airlines or in the United States airspace. [64]
  • Vietnam: Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam banned 737 MAX 8 flights in its airspace until further notice. Vietnam operates no 737 MAX aircraft, and at the point of the issuing, all carriers operating 737 MAX aircraft for services to Vietnam had already grounded the model. [65]
  • Panama: The Civil Aviation Authority grounded its aircraft. [9] [10] [11]

In-flight effect

About 30 of the 737 MAX aircraft were flying in U.S. airspace when the FAA grounding order was announced. The airplanes were allowed to continue to their destinations and were then grounded. [66] In Europe, several flights were diverted when grounding orders were issued. [67] [68] For example, an Israeli-bound Norwegian Airlines 737 MAX aircraft returned to Stockholm, and two Turkish Airlines MAX aircraft flying to Britain, one to Gatwick Airport south of London and the other to Birmingham, turned around without landing and flew back to Turkey. [69] [70] Relocating aircraft grounded in the U.S. to a service facility can be performed under an FAA special flight permit, [71] also known as a "ferry" permit, and flights might be subject to certain restrictions, the most obvious being no passengers, but may also require additional pre-flight inspection. [72]

Boeing response

In its first public statement after the second crash, the company said: "Boeing is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the passengers and crew on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a 737 MAX 8 airplane. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew on board and stand ready to support the Ethiopian Airlines team. A Boeing technical team will be traveling to the crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and United States National Transportation Safety Board." [73]

Subsequently, in response to the grounding of the 737 MAX by non-U.S. countries and airlines, Boeing stated: "We have engaged our customers and regulators on concerns they may have — and would refer you to them to discuss their operations and decisions. Safety is our number one priority and we are taking every measure to fully understand all aspects of this accident, working closely with the investigating team and all regulatory authorities involved. The investigation is in its early stages, but at this point, based on the information available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators." [74] The company said "in light of" the crashes it would postpone the public rollout ceremony for the first completed Boeing 777X which had been scheduled for March 13. [75]

On March 11, Boeing announced that it had been working on upgrades to the MCAS flight control software, cockpit displays, operation manuals and crew training. Boeing said the upgrades were partly in response to the Lion Air crash, but not linked to the Ethiopian Airlines crash, and were to be deployed in coming weeks and to be made mandatory by an FAA Airworthiness Directive. [76] The FAA stated it anticipated clearing the software update by March 25, 2019, allowing Boeing to distribute it to the grounded fleets. [77]

On March 11, Boeing issued a statement saying that pilots can always use trim to override the flight control law, and that both the Flight Crew Operations Manual and the November 6 bulletin detail procedures for handling incorrect angle-of-attack readings. [78] In the 737 Flight Crew Operations Manual Quick Reference Handbook, the trim instructions are under the MAX 8 aircraft runaway stabilizer checklist and filed under "additional information". [79] Based on satellite tracking data, aviation experts believe the MCAS system may have been deployed erroneously during both crashes. [80] On March 12, Boeing announced that it had been working on a flight control software upgrade for the 737 MAX fleet, partly in response to the Lion Air crash, that includes updates to the MCAS flight control law, pilot displays, operation manuals and crew training. The upgrade is to be deployed in "the coming weeks", and is expected to be made mandatory by April by an FAA airworthiness directive. [81]

On March 13, in response to the FAA grounding the MAX aircraft, Boeing released another statement: "Boeing continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX. However, after consultation with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and aviation authorities and its customers around the world, Boeing has determined — out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft's safety — to recommend to the FAA the temporary suspension of operations of the entire global fleet of 371 737 MAX aircraft." [82]

On March 14, Boeing confirmed continued production of the 737 MAX series aircraft but halting deliveries to its customers. [83]

Political response

As countries and airlines outside the U.S. began grounding their aircraft, the FAA issued a “continued airworthiness notification” to all global 737 MAX operators, stating that, to date, it had no evidence from the crashes to justify regulatory action regarding the aircraft. [84] Several western media outlets, including the Financial Times, New York Times, Fox news, and CNBC, questioned China's motives for grounding the aircraft by suggesting the action was either "politically motivated" or that China was "potentially benefiting from the grounding". [85] [86] [49] [87] [88]

On March 12 President Trump tweeted: "Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly. Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT. I see it all the time in many products. Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better." [89] After the tweet, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg spoke by telephone with the president and gave assurances that the aircraft was safe. [90] [91]

On March 13, with mounting pressure after the grounding of the aircraft by Canada, [63] Trump met Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Acting Administrator of the FAA Daniel Elwell, and Muilenburg and agreed to ground the aircraft. The president said, "The FAA is preparing to make an announcement very shortly regarding the new information and physical evidence that we've received from the Ethiopia crash site and from other locations and through a couple of other complaints". [92] [8]

The government has faced questions about the lack of a permanent administrator at the FAA since January 2018, two years of staff and budget cuts at the agency, and the recent government shutdown that delayed approval of a software upgrade for the 737 MAX after the Lion Air crash. The FAA responded that it is "under the strong leadership" of its acting head, [93] and Elwell said the shutdown "did not cause any delay in work on the software." [94] The 737 MAX controversy shed more light on Boeing's political influence in Washington, including lobbying efforts, donations to lawmakers and ties between government and industry. [95] [96] [97]

U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren, Mitt Romney, Dianne Feinstein, Ted Cruz, Roger Wicker and Richard Blumenthal earlier were calling for the FAA to temporarily ground all 737 MAX 8 jets. [98] [99] [100] Ted Cruz and Roger Wicker announced their plans to hold a hearing at the United States Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security "to investigate these crashes, determine their contributing factors, and ensure that the United States aviation industry remains the safest in the world." [100] Elizabeth Warren accused the Trump administration of protecting Boeing, saying: "The Boeing 737 MAX 8 is a major driver of Boeing profits. In the coming weeks and months, Congress should hold hearings on whether an administration that famously refused to stand up to Saudi Arabia to protect Boeing arms sales has once again put lives at risk for the same reason." [101]

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who has the authority to suspend the 737 MAX 8, previously said that "If the FAA identifies an issue that affects safety, the department will take immediate and appropriate action." [99] On March 12, Chao and her staff flew on a Southwest Airlines 737 MAX 8 from Austin, Texas, to Washington, D.C., in an apparent act of support for the Boeing Company. [102]

On March 13, Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau reversed his decision not to ground the aircraft and banned all 737 MAX 8/9 aircraft from Canadian airspace. [103] He earlier had said he would board 737 MAX 8 "without hesitation", [104] and on March 12 had said that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government had no plans to ground the 737 MAX 8. [105] The Canadian Union of Public Employees had called on Air Canada "to at a minimum continue to offer reassignment to crew members who do not want to fly on this type of airplane. The safety of passengers and crews must be the absolute priority." [105]

Certification inquiry

The day after the Ethiopian Airlines crash, a subpoena was issued by a US grand jury. [106] [107] On March 19, 2019, the Department of Transportation requested the Office of Inspector General to conduct an audit on the 737 MAX certification process [108] and Congress also announced an investigation into the same process. [109] The FBI has joined the criminal investigation into the certification as well. [110] [111]

On 17 March 2019, the Seattle Times reported that an investigation it conducted raised concerns on March 6 about certification of the MCAS system, five days before the Ethiopian Airlines crash. The Seattle Times stated it was still awaiting an answer to these concerns, when the Ethiopian Airlines crash occurred. Boeing responded to the report, stating, “there are some significant mischaracterizations”. The report listed concerns of unnamed current and former engineers directly involved with the evaluations or familiar with Boeing's safety analysis: [112]

Groundings by countries/regions and airlines

Countries/regions

As a result of the Flight 302 accident, aviation authorities and airlines began grounding the Boeing 737 MAX due to safety concerns. [113] The list below is as of March 18, 2019 (sorted by country/region):

AuthorityDate
(2019)
Comments
Civil Aviation Authority (Albania) Flag of Albania.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [114]
Directorate of Civil Aviation and Meteorology (Algeria) Flag of Algeria.svg March 18737 MAX banned from airspace. [115]
National Civil Aviation Administration (Argentina) Flag of Argentina.svg March 17737 MAX banned from airspace. [116]
Civil Aviation Committee (Armenia) Flag of Armenia.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [117]
Civil Aviation Safety Authority (Australia) Flag of Australia (converted).svg March 12Grounded all 737 MAX in the country. [118] [119]
Ministry of Transport (Austria) Flag of Austria.svg March 12Grounded all 737 MAX in the country. [120]
Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh Flag of Bangladesh.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [121]
Department for Aviation (Belarus) Flag of Belarus.svg March 14737 MAX banned from airspace. [122]
Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport (Belgium) Flag of Belgium (civil).svg March 12737 MAX banned from airspace. [123]
Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority Flag of Bermuda.svg March 12737 MAX banned from airspace. [124]
Directorate of Civil Aviation (Bosnia and Herzegovina) Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg March 14737 MAX banned from airspace. [125] [126]
National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil Flag of Brazil.svg March 13Grounded the 737 MAX-8 in the country. [127]
Department of Civil Aviation of Brunei Flag of Brunei.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [128]
Civil Aviation Administration (Bulgaria) Flag of Bulgaria.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [129]
Transport Canada Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [103]
Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands Flag of the Cayman Islands.svg March 12737 MAX banned from airspace. [130]
Directorate General of Civil Aviation (Chile) Flag of Chile.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [131]
Civil Aviation Administration of China Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg March 11Grounded all 737 MAX in the country. [48] [3] [132]
Special Administrative Unit of Civil Aeronautics (Colombia) Flag of Colombia.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [133]
Dirección General de Aviación Civil (Costa Rica) Flag of Costa Rica.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [134]
Department of Civil Aviation (Cyprus) Flag of Cyprus.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [135]
Danish Transport Authority Flag of Denmark.svg March 13Grounded all 737 MAX in the country. [136]
Djibouti Civil Aviation Authority Flag of Djibouti.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace [137]
Ministry of Civil Aviation (Egypt) Flag of Egypt.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [138]
Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (Ethiopia) Flag of Ethiopia.svg March 14737 MAX banned from airspace. [139]
Equatorial Guinea Civil Aviation Authority Flag of Equatorial Guinea.svg March 12737 MAX banned from airspace [140]
European Aviation Safety Agency Flag of Europe.svg March 12737 MAX aircraft banned from airspace. [141] [142] [143] This covers the European Union and the member countries of EFTA.
Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji Flag of Fiji.svg March 12Operation of 737 MAX suspended. [144]
Directorate General for Civil Aviation (France) Flag of France.svg March 12737 MAX banned from airspace. [145]
Agence Nationale de l'Aviation Civile du Gabon Flag of Gabon.svg March 14737 MAX banned from airspace [146]
Civil Aviation Authority (Georgia) Flag of Georgia.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [147]
Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (Germany) Flag of Germany.svg March 12737 MAX banned from airspace. [148]
Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (Greece) Flag of Greece.svg March 12737 MAX banned from airspace. [149]
Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (Guatemala) Flag of Guatemala.svg March 15737 MAX banned from airspace [150]
Civil Aviation Department (Hong Kong) Flag of Hong Kong.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [151]
Ministry of Civil Aviation (India) Flag of India.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [152]
Ministry of Transportation (Indonesia) Flag of Indonesia.svg March 11737 MAX banned from airspace. [153]
Iran Civil Aviation Organization Flag of Iran.svg March 15737 MAX banned from airspace. [154]
Iraq Civil Aviation Authority Flag of Iraq.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [155]
Irish Aviation Authority Flag of Ireland.svg March 12737 MAX banned from airspace. [156]
Civil Aviation Authority of Israel Flag of Israel.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [157]
Italian Civil Aviation Authority Flag of Italy.svg March 12737 MAX banned from airspace. [142]
Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority Flag of Jamaica.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace [158]
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (Japan) Flag of Japan.svg March 14B737 MAX flights to Japan banned. [159]
Civil Aviation Committee (Kazakhstan) Flag of Kazakhstan.svg March 14737 MAX flights suspended. [160]
Ministry of Information, Communications, Transport and Tourism Development (Kiribati) Flag of Kiribati.svg March 14737 MAX banned from airspace [161]
Civil Aviation Authority of Kosovo Flag of Kosovo.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [162]
Directorate General of Civil Aviation (Kuwait) Flag of Kuwait.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [163]
Lebanese Civil Aviation Authority Flag of Lebanon.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [164]
Civil Aviation Authority (Macau) Flag of Macau.svg March 13Operation of 737 MAX suspended. [165]
Civil Aviation Agency (North Macedonia) Flag of North Macedonia.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [166] [167]
Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia Flag of Malaysia.svg March 12Operation of 737 MAX suspended. [168] [169]
Directorate General of Civil Aeronautics (Mexico) Flag of Mexico.svg March 14737 MAX banned from airspace. [170]
Civil Aviation Authority (Moldova) Flag of Moldova.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [171]
Civil Aviation Agency (Montenegro) Flag of Montenegro.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [172]
Namibia Civil Aviation Authority Flag of Namibia.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [173]
Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (Netherlands) Flag of the Netherlands.svg March 12737 MAX banned from airspace. [174] [143]
Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand Flag of New Zealand.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [175]
Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority Flag of Nigeria.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [176]
Directorate General of Civil Aviation and Meteorology (Oman) Flag of Oman.svg March 12Operation of 737 MAX suspended. [177] [178]
Civil Aviation Authority (Panama) Flag of Panama.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [179]
Dirección Nacional de Aeronáutica Civil (Paraguay) Flag of Paraguay.svg March 15737 MAX banned from airspace. [180]
Civil Aviation Authority (Poland) Flag of Poland.svg March 12737 MAX banned from airspace. [181]
National Institute of Civil Aviation of Portugal Flag of Portugal.svg March 12737 MAX banned from airspace. [182]
Romanian Civil Aeronautical Authority Flag of Romania.svg March 12737 MAX banned from airspace. [183]
Federal Air Transport Agency (Russia) Flag of Russia.svg March 14737 MAX banned from airspace. [184]
Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority Flag of Rwanda.svg March 14737 MAX banned from airspace. [185]
Agence Nationale de l'Aviation Civile et de la Météorologie (Senegal) Flag of Senegal.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace [186]
Civil Aviation Directorate of the Republic of Serbia Flag of Serbia.svg March 14737 MAX banned from airspace. [187]
Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority Flag of the Seychelles.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace [188]
Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore Flag of Singapore.svg March 12737 MAX banned from airspace. [55]
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (South Korea) Flag of South Korea.svg March 14737 MAX banned from airspace. [54]
Civil Aeronautics Administration (Taiwan) Flag of the Republic of China.svg March 14737 MAX banned from airspace. [189] [190]
Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand Flag of Thailand.svg March 13Operation of 737 MAX suspended. [191]
Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [192]
Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (Turkey) Flag of Turkey.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [193]
State Aviation Administration of Ukraine Flag of Ukraine.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [194]
General Civil Aviation Authority (UAE) Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg March 12737 MAX banned from airspace [195]
Civil Aviation Authority (United Kingdom) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg March 12737 MAX banned from airspace. [196] [197]
Federal Aviation Administration (United States) Flag of the United States.svg March 13737 MAX banned from airspace. [198] [199]
National Civil Aviation and Aviation Infrastructure Direction (Uruguay) Flag of Uruguay.svg March 18737 MAX banned from airspace [200]
Civil Aviation Agency of Uzbekistan Flag of Uzbekistan.svg March 13737 MAX barred from airports [201]
Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam Flag of Vietnam.svg March 12737 MAX banned from airspace. [202] [203]

Airlines

After the Ethiopian Air crash, airlines grounded all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft series in their fleets. List is ordered by operator name and is current as of 16:00 UTC, March 17 2019 [204] (includes pre-delivered aircraft located at Boeing Field, Renton Municipal Airport and Paine Field airports):

AirlineDateFleet sizeRemarks
9 Air March 123 [204]
Aerolíneas Argentinas March 115 [204] [205] [206]
Aeroméxico March 126 [204] [207]
Air Canada March 1324 [204] [208]
Air China March 1115 [204]
Air Italy March 124 [204]
American Airlines March 1325 [204]
Cayman Airways March 112 [204] [209]
China Eastern Airlines March 113 [204]
China Southern Airlines March 1124 [204]
Comair March 112 [204] [210]
Copa Airlines March 136 [204] [211] [10] [11]
Corendon Airlines March 121 [204]
Eastar Jet March 112 [204]
Enter Air March 122 [204]
Ethiopian Airlines March 114 [204] [212] [213]
Fiji Airways March 122 [204]
Flydubai March 1215 [204] [214]
Fuzhou Airlines March 112 [204]
Garuda Indonesia March 111 [204]
Gol Transportes Aéreos March 117 [204] [215] [216]
Hainan Airlines March 1111 [204]
Icelandair March 126 [204] [217]
Jet Airways March 128 [204] [218]
Kunming Airlines March 112 [204]
Lion Air March 1110 [204]
LOT Polish Airlines March 125 [204] [219]
Lucky Air March 113 [204]
Mauritania Airlines March 121 [204] [220]
MIAT Mongolian Airlines March 111 [204] [221]
Norwegian Air International March 129 [204] [222]
Norwegian Air Shuttle March 126 [204]
Norwegian Air Sweden March 123 [204]
Okay Airways March 112 [204]
Oman Air March 155 [204] [223]
Royal Air Maroc March 112 [204] [224]
S7 Airlines March 122 [204] [225]
Samoa Airways Unknown1 [204]
SCAT Airlines March 131 [204]
Shandong Airlines March 117 [204]
Shanghai Airlines March 1112 [204]
Shenzhen Airlines March 116 [204]
SilkAir March 126 [204]
Smartwings March 128 [204]
Southwest Airlines March 1334 [204]
SpiceJet March 1313 [204] [226]
Sunwing Airlines March 124 [204] [227]
Thai Lion Air March 133 [204]
TUI Airways March 126 [204]
TUI fly Belgium March 124 [204]
TUI fly Deutschland Unknown1 [204]
TUI fly Netherlands March 123 [174]
TUI fly Nordic March 122 [204]
Turkish Airlines March 1214 [204] [57]
United Airlines March 1314 [204]
WestJet March 1313 [204]
XiamenAir March 1110 [204]
Total393

Financial impact

Airline demands for compensation

On March 13, Norwegian Air became the first airline publicly demanding compensation from Boeing for the costs of the groundings of the 737 MAX. CEO Bjørn Kjos said, "It is quite obvious we will not take the cost related to the new aircraft that we have to park temporarily, we will send this bill to those who produce this aircraft." [228] India's SpiceJet also announced that they will seek compensation from Boeing. A senior official said, "We will seek compensation from Boeing for the grounding of the aircraft. We will also seek recompense for revenue loss and any kind of maintenance or technical overhaul that the aircraft will have to undergo. This is part of the contract, which we signed with Boeing for all the 737 MAX aircraft". [229]

Litigation on behalf of deceased passengers

Unlike the maximum claim by a passenger against an airline, which is limited by international treaty, claims directed against the manufacturer are not subject to a preset limit. In addition to other claims, representatives of passengers on flight 302 may be able to argue that Boeing knew (or should have known, or contemplated) the risk of a crash, from knowledge of the MCAS system and previous issues, including the earlier Lion Air crash, potentially opening a route to punitive damages. [230]

The United States has a wide ranging legal structure for damages claims that is expansive and often plaintiff-friendly. According to lawyers involves in passenger claims, Boeing may therefore attempt to argue that claims on behalf of deceased passengers should be heard in other countries. [230]

Order cancellations

According to Boeing, it had 4,636 unfilled orders worldwide for the 737 MAX. [231] On March 14 Indonesian flag carrier Garuda Indonesia announced cancellation of 49 orders for the aircraft, citing "concerns on the safety of passengers". [232] Bloomberg News reported that Lion Air plans to drop a $22 billion order with Boeing in favor of Airbus aircraft [233] and that the 737 MAX's problems put $600 billion in orders at risk. [234] Boeing suspended deliveries of 737 MAX aircraft to customers, but did not halt production of the aircraft. Analysts estimated that each month of the grounding could result in a delay of $1.8 billion in revenue to the company. [235] Boeing shares lost 11% of their value in the week leading up to March 14. [234]

Return to service

International agreements allow for aviation regulatory agencies worldwide to certify an aircraft type based on the certification of the regulatory agency where the aircraft is built, and do not review those certifications in much detail. [236] In this case the Boeing 737 MAX series is certified by the United States FAA, and a return to service locally and internationally requires updated certification by the FAA first. [236] The European Aviation Safety Agency and Transport Canada announced they will do their own safety verifications before letting the 737 MAX fly again in their territories, and will no longer accept the United States FAA certification as is for this aircraft. [236]

See also

Related Research Articles

Iran Air flag carrier airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Iran Air, branded as The Airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran, is the flag carrier of Iran headquartered on the grounds of Mehrabad Airport in Tehran. As of 2018, it operates scheduled services to 71 destinations in Asia and Europe. Iran Air’s main bases are Imam Khomeini International Airport and Mehrabad Airport, both situated in Tehran, capital of Iran. Domestically, Iran Air is commonly known as Homa, which is the name of a mythical Persian griffin, and also the acronym of Iran National Airlines in the Persian language. The airline's cargo division, Iran Air Cargo, operates scheduled services internationally using three cargo aircraft.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Wide-body twin-engine jet airliner, first airliner to be constructed primarily of composite materials

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is an American long-haul, mid-size wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Its variants seat 242 to 335 passengers in typical three-class seating configurations. It is the first airliner with an airframe constructed primarily of composite materials. The 787 was designed to be 20% more fuel-efficient than the Boeing 767, which it was intended to replace. The 787 Dreamliner's distinguishing features include mostly electrical flight systems, raked wingtips, and noise-reducing chevrons on its engine nacelles.

Ethiopian Airlines flag-carrier airline of Ethiopia

Ethiopian Airlines, formerly Ethiopian Air Lines (EAL) and often referred to as simply Ethiopian, is Ethiopia's flag carrier and is wholly owned by the country's government. EAL was founded on 21 December 1945 and commenced operations on 8 April 1946, expanding to international flights in 1951. The firm became a share company in 1965 and changed its name from Ethiopian Air Lines to Ethiopian Airlines. The airline has been a member of the International Air Transport Association since 1959 and of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) since 1968. Ethiopian is a Star Alliance member, having joined in December 2011.

Cayman Airways is the flag carrier airline of the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands. With its head office in Grand Cayman, it operates mainly as an international and domestic scheduled passenger carrier, with cargo services available on most routes. Its operations are based at Owen Roberts International Airport in George Town, Grand Cayman.

Jet Airways is a major Indian international airline based in Mumbai. In October 2017, it is the second-largest airline in India after IndiGo with a 17.8% passenger market share. It operates flights to 52 destinations from its main hub at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport and secondary hubs at Indira Gandhi International Airport and Kempegowda International Airport. Incorporated in April 1992 as a limited liability company, the airline began operations as an air taxi operator in 1993. It began full-fledged operations in 1995 with international flights added in 2004. The airline went public in 2005 and in 2007, it acquired Air Sahara. It became the largest carrier by passenger market share in the country by 2010, a position it held until 2012.

PT Lion Mentari Airlines, operating as Lion Air, is an Indonesian low-cost airline. Based in Jakarta, Lion Air is the country's largest privately run airline, the second largest low-cost airline in Southeast Asia after AirAsia and the largest airline of Indonesia. The airline operates domestic as well as international routes, which connects different destinations of Indonesia to Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, India, Japan and Saudi Arabia, as well as charter routes to China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Macau, with more than 630 flights per day.

Iran Aseman Airlines airline in Iran

Iran Aseman Airlines is the third-largest Iranian airline headquartered in Tehran. It operates scheduled domestic passenger services and regional international services.

SCAT Airlines, legally PLL SCAT Air Company, is an airline with its head office on the property of Shymkent Airport in Shymkent, Kazakhstan. It operates services to all of the major cities of Kazakhstan and to neighbouring countries. Its main base is Shymkent Airport, with focus cities at Aktau Airport, Astana International Airport and Almaty International Airport.

SpiceJet Indian airline

SpiceJet is a low-cost airline headquartered in Gurgaon, India. It is the fourth largest airline in the country by number of domestic passengers carried, with a market share of 13.3% as of October 2017. The airline operates 312 daily flights to 55 destinations, including 47 Indian and 7 international destinations from its hubs at Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

flydubai, legally Dubai Aviation Corporation, is a government-owned low-cost airline with its head office and flight operations in Terminal 2 of Dubai International Airport. The airline operates a total of 95 destinations, serving the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe from Dubai.

An emergency airworthiness directive (EAD) is an airworthiness directive issued when an unsafe condition exists that requires immediate action by an aircraft owner or operator. EADs are published by a responsible authorities such as FOCA, EASA or FAA related to airworthiness and maintenance of aircraft and aircraft parts. It contains measures which must be accomplished and the related periods to preserve their airworthiness. Technical information is addressed to operators and maintenance organisations of affected aircraft only. EADs become effective upon receipt of notification.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner battery problems

In 2013, the first year of service for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, a widebody jet airliner, at least four aircraft suffered from electrical system problems stemming from its lithium-ion batteries. Although problems are common within the first year of a new aircraft design's life, after a number of incidents including an electrical fire aboard an All Nippon Airways 787, and a similar fire found by maintenance workers on a landed Japan Airlines 787 at Boston's Logan International Airport, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered a review into the design and manufacture of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, following five incidents in five days involving the aircraft, mostly involved with problems with the batteries and electrical systems. This was followed with a full grounding of the entire Boeing 787 fleet, the first such grounding since that of the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 in 1979. The plane has had two major battery thermal runaway events in 52,000 flight hours, which was substantially less than the 10 million flight hours predicted by Boeing, neither of which were contained in a safe manner.

Southwest Airlines fleet

Since its inception Southwest Airlines has almost exclusively operated Boeing 737 aircraft. Southwest is the world's largest operator of the Boeing 737, and was the launch customer of the 737-300, 737-500, 737-700, and 737 MAX 8. Southwest Airlines is also poised to be the launch customer for the 737 MAX 7.

This is a list of aviation-related events in 2018.

Lion Air Flight 610 2018 aircraft crash in the Java Sea, Indonesia, killing 189

Lion Air Flight 610 was a scheduled domestic flight operated by the Indonesian airline Lion Air from Soekarno–Hatta International Airport in Jakarta to Depati Amir Airport in Pangkal Pinang. On 29 October 2018, the Boeing 737 MAX 8 operating the route crashed into the Java Sea 12 minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 passengers and crew.

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 2019 aviation accident

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 was a scheduled international passenger flight from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport in Ethiopia to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya. On 10 March 2019, the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft which operated the flight crashed six minutes after takeoff, near the town of Bishoftu, killing all 157 people aboard. The cause of the accident is currently unknown and is under investigation.

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