Malaysia on Tuesday barred Boeing 737 MAX planes from its airspace, joining a host of countries which have blocked the model after the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash at the weekend.
Ahmad Nizar Zolfakar, CEO of Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM), said the announcement was made in reference to two fatal aircraft accidents involving the Boeing 737 MAX 8 in less than five months.
The developent comes a day after an aircraft of similar model operated by the Ethiopian Airlines crashed in Addis Ababa killing all 157 passengers and crew, including 10 Indians and Indian-origin Canadians. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom has also banned Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes from its airspace.
The crash of Ethiopian Airlines plane came five months after another Boeing 737 MAX 8 of Lion Air crashed in Indonesia that killed 189 passengers and crew. Reports said there were similarities between the Ethiopian and Indonesian air crashes as they both occurred during take-off, involving new aircraft that had just been delivered.
Before Malaysia, China, Argentina, Australia, Singapore and Indonesia have also announced the suspension of Boeing 737 MAX 8 operations.
CAAM’s move echoed that of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), which earlier today temporarily suspended the operations of all variants of the Boeing 737 MAX flying into and out of the republic.
SilkAir, which operates six Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, will be affected by the temporary suspension, CAAS said.
Other airlines that deploy the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to Singapore are China Southern Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Shandong Airlines and Thai Lion Air.
According to reports, Cayman Islands’ flag carrier, Cayman Airways, had also halted the use of the aircraft for its operations.