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India bans Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in Indian airspace from 4 pm today

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 13 March 2019, 14:46 IST

After grounding the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft immediately in the country by 4 pm, India’s aviation watchdog the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Wednesday bans aircraft in Indian airspace from 4 pm today, according to news agency PTI.

“The Ministry of Civil Aviation tweeted, "No B737 Max aircraft will be allowed to enter or transit Indian airspace effective 1600hrs IST or 1030 UTC. The timeline is to cater to situations where aircraft can be positioned at maintenance facilities & international flights can reach their destinations".

The ministry has also called an emergency meeting of all airlines at 4 pm today with 'full contingency plan", according to news agency PTI.

On late Tuesday night, DGCA decided to immediately ground the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, for the sake of passenger safety. This development comes two days after the deadly crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight crash in which all 157 on board killed, including four Indians.

According to the reports, Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will stay grounded till appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations, the Civil Aviation Ministry announced on Tuesday evening.

The DGCA’s move came shortly after a number of countries, including European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), grounded Boeing’s new model of the US aircraft manufacturer's best-selling 737 aircraft across Europe. Earlier, China also grounded all Boeing aircraft within 24 hours of the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

At present, SpiceJet and Jet Airways operate the 737 MAX 8. SpiceJet has 13 of the model 8 variant in its 75-strong fleet while Jet Airways has five such aircraft.

An Ethiopian Airlines jet carrying crashed on Sunday morning killing all 149 passengers and 8 crew members on board, minutes after takeoff. The flight lost control with the tower within six minutes after takeoff.

Also read: India grounds Boeing 737 MAX jet, 2 days after Ethiopian Airline crash

First published: 13 March 2019, 14:46 IST