Vietnam closes airspace to Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft

By Doan Loan   March 13, 2019 | 08:40 am GMT+7
Vietnam closes airspace to Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft
If the FAA stops using the 737 MAX 8 aircraft, Vietnam will take a similar decision. Photo by AFP

Vietnam has banned Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from flying over its airspace due to safety concerns following similar actions by many other countries.

The ban took effect at 10 a.m. Wednesday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam said in a statement.

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

Korea’s Eastar Jet, Thailand’s Thai Lion Air and Malaysia’s Malindo Air operate Boeing 737 MAX flights to Vietnam.

But they have grounded the aircraft after an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX bound for Nairobi, Kenya, crashed Sunday killing all 157 passengers.

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

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.

 
 
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