All Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft would be grounded in India by 4 pm on Wednesday, said a senior official of Indian aviation watchdog DGCA. The decision came days after a 737 MAX 8 aircraft operated by the Ethiopian Airlines crashed near Addis Ababa killing 157 people, including four Indians.
On Tuesday night, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced its decision to ground the aircraft that are currently being used by airline companies in India. "We will ground all Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, which are currently in use by Indian airlines, by 4 pm today," the DGCA official told PTI on Wednesday morning.
SpiceJet has around 12 such aircraft in its fleet. Jet Airways has five, which have been grounded already. In a statement Wednesday, SpiceJet said," SpiceJet has suspended Boeing 737 Max operations following DGCA's decision to ground the aircraft."
"Safety and security of our passengers, crew and operations are of utmost importance to us and we will be working with the regulator and the manufacturer to attain normalcy in our operations. "We are confident of accommodating the vast majority of our passengers and minimise inconvenience," the airline said.
The Ethiopian Airlines incident on Sunday was the second such crash involving a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in less than five months.
In October last year, an aircraft operated by Lion Air crashed killing over 180 people in Indonesia. The European Union and many other countries across the world have already banned the use of the 737 Max 8 aircraft in their respective airspace.