Vietnam Time

3/13/2019 10:34:57 AM

Vietnam closes airspace to Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft

Vietnam aviation authority has banned Boeing 737 MAX 8 flights in its airspace following last Sunday's Ethiopian Airlines crash.

If the FAA stops using the 737 MAX 8 aircraft, Vietnam will take a similar decision. Photo by AFP

The ban will take effect from 10 a.m. Wednesday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) said in a statement, following similar actions in other countries like Germany, France, and Britain.

"Airlines will be affected by this ban as they will have to use different aircraft, but this is all for safety reasons," head of the CAAV Dinh Viet Thang said.

The CAAV said earlier it will not grant operational certificates to Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft over safety concerns.

Korean airline Eastar Jet, Thailand’s Thai Lion Air and Malaysia’s Manlindo Air operate Boeing 737 MAX flights to Vietnam.

But they have halted the use of the model after a Boeing 737 MAX bound for Nairobi, Kenya, crashed Sunday killing all 157 passengers and crew on board the Ethiopian Airlines flight.

While no Vietnamese airlines currently operates the Boeing 737 MAX 8, Vietjet has ordered 200 narrow-body models of the aircraft and is set to receive the first one in October.

The budget carrier said that it is "closely monitoring information from aviation authorities."

Vo Huy Cuong, deputy head of the CAAV, said that if the FAA stops using the 737 MAX 8 aircraft, they will take a similar decision and ban the aircraft model from flying to and from Vietnam.

The Sunday crash was the second tragic accident involving a Boeing 737 MAX 8.

Last October, a 737 MAX 8 operated by Indonesian budget carrier Lion Air crashed 13 minutes after takeoff from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta on a domestic flight, killing all 189 on board.

Some countries have halted or are reconsidering their 737 MAX 8 orders.

China on Monday grounded nearly 100 aircraft of this model that were being operated by its carriers, and Indonesia has followed suit.

Malaysia will reconsider its agreement to buy 25 of Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 aircraft, Nikkei has reported. Singapore has suspended all Boeing 737 MAX 8 flights starting Tuesday.

The 737 MAX 8 first entered service in 2017. By January-end, Boeing had delivered 350 of this aircraft to customers, with 4,661 more on order, according to Reuters.

VNF  ( Vnexpress )
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