BRITS flying to and from the UK could face disruption after authorities banned all Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft from landing or taking off in Britain following the Ethiopian Airlines disaster, which killed 157 people.
Operators including TUI and Norwegian have been forced to ground the planes.
Statement: Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority has issued instructions to stop any commercial passenger flights from any operator arriving, departing or overflying UK airspace.
— UK Civil Aviation Authority (@UK_CAA) March 12, 2019
A spokesperson for the CAA said: “The UK Civil Aviation Authority has been closely monitoring the situation, however, as we do not currently have sufficient information from the flight data recorder we have, as a precautionary measure, issued instructions to stop any commercial passenger flights from any operator arriving, departing or overflying UK airspace.
“The UK Civil Aviation Authority’s safety directive will be in place until further notice. We remain in close contact with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and industry regulators globally.”
The last Boeing 737 Max 8 to touch down in the UK before the ban came into effect was a flight from Spain’s Costa Blanca to Manchester Airport.
The TUI flight from Alicante, that serves the holiday hotspot of Benidorm, touched down safely as all 737 Max 8 planes are banned from flying in British airspace ‘until further notice’ following the Ethiopian Airlines disaster, which killed 157 people on Sunday.
The same aircraft model was also involved in another fatal crash in Indonesia in October.
The Alicante flight landed at 3.35pm after leaving two hours and 20 minutes late.
Two Turkish Airlines aircraft en route to London Gatwick and Birmingham were forced to turn back while on their way to Britain.
The Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) ‘precautionary measure’ ruling covers all commercial flights in UK airspace.
The European Union has also suspended flights of the Boeing 737 Max 8 as a precaution as confirmed in a statement by the European Union’s Air Safety Agency (EASA).
— EASA (@EASA) March 12, 2019
Meanwhile, Boeing has announced that it will update the 737 MAX aircraft flight control software to “make them even safer,” before April.
Around 300 aircraft in this series are operational around the world, 55 of them in the European Union.