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Wave of countries, airlines ground Boeing 737 Max 8 planes after Ethiopian Air crash

Boeing 737-860(w) ‘ET-APF’ Ethiopian Airlines. (Alan Wilson/Flickr)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

A wave of countries and airlines around the world have banned the Boeing 737 MAX 8 airliner, two days after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight that killed all 157 people on board.

The European Union, Norway, Australia, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, India, and other countries said on March 12 that they were grounding the aircraft or closing their airspace to the planes until further notice.

“As a precautionary measure, EASA has published today an Airworthiness Directive, effective as of 19:00 UTC, suspending all flight operations of all Boeing Model 737-8 MAX and 737-9 MAX aeroplanes in Europe,” the 28-member EU’s aviation authority, EASA, said in a statement.

“In addition, EASA has published a Safety Directive, effective as of 19:00 UTC, suspending all commercial flights performed by third-country operators into, within, or out of the EU of the above-mentioned models,” it added.

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France and Germany announced earlier that they had grounded the Boeing 737 MAX 8.

Turkish Airlines, TUI Airlines, Norwegian, and Icelandair were among flight operators who also suspended usage of the model after being involved in its second fatal accident in less than five months.

Oman and the United Arab Emirates also barred the aircraft.

The United States, which is helping Ethiopian authorities investigate the crash, said it was too “early in the process” to ground its fleet of Boeing 737 MAX 8s.

On March 11, Boeing, the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer, said that it has “full confidence in the safety” of the plane and that it will be deploying new flight control software in coming weeks for the 737 MAX.