NEW DELHI: Private carrier SpiceJet became the first airline to suspend Boeing 737 Max from its fleet following Directorate General of Civil Aviation's decision to ban the aircraft.
The low-cost airlines retweeted it communications head Tushar Srivastava's statement which says, “@flyspicejet has suspended Boeing 737 Max operations following DGCA's decision to ground the aircraft. Safety and security of our passengers, crew and operations are of utmost importance to us.”
The airlines added that it will be working together with the regulatory authority and the manufacturer to attain normalcy in operations and minimise passenger inconvenience.
India on Monday joined Britain, France, Germany, China and a growing list of countries in banning Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft from its skies. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) took the decision in the aftermath of Ethiopian Airline plane crash last Sunday which killed all 157 occupants of the plane - including six Indians.
"These planes will be grounded till appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations. We continue to consult closely with regulators around the world, airlines, and aircraft manufacturers to ensure passenger safety," the DGCA said in a statement.
In October 2018, a Lion Air jet of the same model crashed in Indonesia, killing 189 – but no evidence has emerged to link the two incidents.
In India, SpiceJet has twelve 737 MAX 8 planes while Jet Airways Ltd has five.
In a statement on Tuesday, SpiceJet said, "The Boeing 737 MAX is a highly sophisticated aircraft. It has flown hundreds of thousands of hours globally and some of the world`s largest airlines are flying this.
"We are actively engaged with both Boeing and the DGCA and will continue to put safety first, as always. We have implemented all additional precautionary measures as directed by the DGCA on Monday."
Boeing also released a statement. “Safety is Boeing’s number one priority and we have full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX. We understand that regulatory agencies and customers have made decisions that they believe are most appropriate for their home markets. We’ll continue to engage with them to ensure they have the information needed to have confidence in operating their fleets. The United States Federal Aviation Administration is not mandating any further action at this time, and based on the information currently available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators,” it said.