The Speaker
Sunday, 19 May 2024 – 19:17

UK joins countries suspending Boeing 737 flights after crash

The UK, Singapore and Australia are latest to announce suspended Boeing 737 MAX 8 flights following a crash in Ethiopia on Sunday that killed 157.

Investigations are being carried out as it marks the second occasion in six months that a 737 MAX 8 plane has crashed, along with a new Lion Air Boeing that killed 189 people in October last year.

Experts investigating last year’s Boeing crash found the pilots appeared to “struggle” with a new feature of the plane, an automated system designed to stop the jet from stalling.

However, the MAX 8 model that killed 157 people on Sunday was one of 30 planes ordered as part of Ethiopian Airlines expansion, that was reported to have undergone “rigorous first check maintenance” before flying on February 4.

The countries’ decisions come after airlines in China, South Africa, Indonesia, Brazil and Mexico banned their 737 MAX 8 operations on Monday, with a South Korean airline due to suspend flights today.

In the aftermath of October’s disaster, Boeing stated they were developing a “flight control software enhancement” for the 737 MAX model designed to “make an already safe aircraft even safer”.

But with some airlines still flying the aircraft and Boeing stating they will not refrain from using them in the future, the company are now being questioned on their ability to ensure passenger safety.

They said in a statement: “We would like to express our deepest condolences to those who lost loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. A Boeing technical team is at the crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.

“It is still early in the investigation, as we seek to understand the cause of the accident”, they added.

It is thought that nine Brits died in the Ethiopian aircraft crash.

Joanna Toole, a UN worker from Devon, has been formally identified as an individual who died in the crash.

Her colleagues at the UN fisheries and aquaculture department told Sky News the 36-year-old was a “wonderful human being”, with her father describing her as a “very soft and loving” woman.

People due to travel on Boeing planes can check a list of airlines that fly the aircraft here.

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