DGCA grounds Boeing 737 Max by 4 pm on Wednesday, calls emergency meeting of all airlines

Following the Ethiopian Airline plane crash that claimed 157 lives, the DGCA banned all Boeing 737 Max 8 over the Indian airspace.

DGCA grounds Boeing 737 Max by 4 pm on Wednesday, calls emergency meeting of all airlines
Reuters photo

NEW DELHI: Following Tuesday's order of immediate ban on Boeing 737 Max, the Directorate General of Civil (DGCA) extended the timeline allowing all airlines to ground the aircraft by 4 pm on Wednesday.

The timeline was extended keeping in mind situations of international flights and positioning of the aircraft at maintenance facilities.

"In continuation to the decision of DGCA to ground the B737 Max operations, further clarification follows. B737Max operations Will stop from/to all Indian airport's. Additionally no B737 Max aircraft will be allowed to enter or transit Indian airspace effective 1600hrs IST or 1030 UTC. The time line is to cater to situations where aircraft can be positioned at maintenance facilities and international flights can reach their destinations," tweeted the Civil Aviation Ministry.

The Civil Aviation Secretary also called an emergency meeting of all airlines at 4 pm on Wednesday in the national capital.

“Directed Secy to hold an emergency meeting with all Airlines to prepare a contingency plan to avoid inconvenience to passengers. While passenger safety is a zero tolerance issue, efforts are already on to minimise the impact on passenger movement as their convenience is important,” tweeted Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu.

Following the Ethiopian Airline plane crash last Sunday that claimed 157 lives, the DGCA banned all Boeing 737 Max 8 over the Indian airspace.

“DGCA has taken the decision to ground the Boeing 737-MAX planes immediately. These planes will be grounded till appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations,” tweeted the Civil Aviation Ministry.

“As always, passenger safety remains our top priority. We continue to consult closely with regulators around the world, airlines, and aircraft manufacturers to ensure passenger safety,” it added.

India now is a part of the growing list nations which includes China, France, Germany, Malaysia, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, UK and South Africa to ban this particular model of Boeing aircraft from its airspace.

The sharp worldwide reaction followed after the last week's Ethiopian Airline crash and the Lion Air plane crash in Indonesia in October 2018 which claimed 189 lives.

Private carrier SpiceJet, which has twelve Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes, suspended the model from its fleet following DGCA's order on Tuesday.

“@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,” retweeted it communications head Tushar Srivastava's statement.

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.

Jet Airways operates five 737 MAX 8 aircraft, although several have been grounded over non-payment of leasing dues, reported Reuters.