Boeing needs to get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible.
Airlines around the world have grounded the Boeing 737 jet involved in this weekend’s Ethiopian Airlines crash, piling more pressure on the plane manufacturer.
Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed shortly after take off from Addis Ababa Sunday. All 157 people on board died.
The incident is the second in five months involving Boeing’s flagship single-aisle aircraft following the Lion Air crash in Indonesia last October.
As of Monday afternoon, 22 airlines had grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said it was suspending the commercial operation of the aircraft because of the “certain similarities” between the crashes.
The CAAC said it would contact Boeing and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to get confirmation on “the relevant measures to effectively ensure flight safety.”
Chinese airlines aren’t the only ones grounding the model. Indonesia’s transport ministry has ordered airlines in the country to do the same, pending inspections, Bloomberg reported.
Cayman Airways has suspended operation of the aircraft, while authorities in South Korea have been working with Eastar Jet Co. to carry out special inspections.
Ethiopian Airlines has also decided to ground its remaining 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
In its latest statement dated March 10, Boeing 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 travelling to the crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.”
Ethiopian Airlines said it had now recovered both the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder, which if intact, should give a clearer picture of what happened to Flight 302.
UPDATED: This story was updated to include the number of airlines that have grounded the Boeing 737.
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Photo credit: A Boeing Max jet. Passenger confidence in the model has taken a hit after the jet’s second fatal crash in just five months. Shoko Oda / Bloomberg