AIRLINES from North America to the Middle ast (中東) initially kept flying Boeing’s 737 AX 8 after a host of other countries, led by China, grounded the plane on worries over the Ethiopian (埃塞俄比亞) Airlines crash that killed all 157 aboard on 10 March.
It took a few more days for countries like the US and Canada (加拿大) to join in grounding the plane. Hong Kong’s Civil Aviation Department drew flak for banning the plane only on 13 March.
The groundings worldwide match a slide in the plane maker’s share price, which had US$25 billion (HK$195 billion) wiped out on the day after the crash, the second one involving the latest model of the plane since October.
In the earlier crash, all 189 people on board a Lion Air 737 MAX 8 died in Indonesia (印尼), putting the jet under the safety spotlight and prompting questions from passengers.
China grounded the jet on 11 March, the day after the latest crash, followed by other countries including the UK, Australia (澳洲), and the European Union.
Initially, many other countries said they had no plans to ground the aircraft, which analysts said would be costly and disruptive for carriers.
At the time, American Airlines also backed the jet, saying, “At this time there are no facts on the cause of the [Ethiopian] accident other than news reports.” The plane’s listed prices were about US$112 million but were US$50 million after discounts.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 19 March 2019)
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