CASA Suspends Use of Boeing 737 Max 8 Planes Following Ethiopia Airlines Crash

Australia has joined a growing list of countries that have banned airlines from flying Boeing 737 Max 8 jets, after one of the planes crashed in Ethiopia killing more than 150 people on board.

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) suspended two international airlines from flying the planes to and from Australia.

Singapore’s SilkAir had already grounded their fleet while China, Indonesia and the European Union also grounded their planes on the 737 Max.

However, the US said they would not be banning their planes.

The Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 plane fell from the sky minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa for Nairobi on Sunday.

157 people on board were killed in the crash.

Safety concerns about the model were raised in October after a Lion Air flight in Indonesia crashed, killing all 189 people aboard.

Airline pilots on at least two US flights also reported issues with the Boeing 737 Max planes, claiming that an automated system seemed to cause the planes to tilt down suddenly.

CASA CEO Shane Carmody said suspending the flights were a precautionary measure.

“This is a temporary suspension while we wait for more information to review the safety risks of continued operations of the Boeing 737 Max to and from Australia,” Mr Carmody said.

Boeing said on Tuesday it planned to upgrade software in its 737 Max 8 planes in coming weeks.

It came after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it would mandate “design changes” in the Max 8 aircraft by April, working to complete “flight control system enhancements which provide reduced reliance on procedure associated with required pilot memory items.”

Meanwhile, Virgin Australia has ordered 30 Max 8s, but had not started using them before CASA’s suspension.

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