Civil aviation authorities and airlines across the globe have begun to curtail B737 MAX operations following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines B737 MAX 8, ET-AVJ (msn 62450), on Sunday, March 10. The four-month old jet was climbing out of Addis Ababa en route for Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta when it lost height and impacted the ground killing all 149 passengers and 9 crew onboard. The disaster comes barely four months after the crash of a Lion Air B737 MAX 8 in Indonesia which killed all 189 onboard.

As of Monday, March 11, Ethiopian Airlines has said that while the cause of the crash is still unknown, it has grounded its fleet of four remaining B737 MAX 8s "as an extra safety precaution".

For its part, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has ordered all local operators to ground their B737 MAX 8s.

"In line with the management principle of zero tolerance for safety hazards and strict control of safety risks, in order to ensure the safety of civil aviation in China, at 0900L on March 11, the Civil Aviation Administration issued a notice requesting domestic airlines to suspend the commercial operation of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft as from 1800L on March 11, 2019," it said in a statement.

According to the ch-aviation fleets module, Chinese airlines operate 93 out of a total of 339 B737 MAX 8s active around the world. China Southern Airlines operates twenty-three, Air China sixteen, Hainan Airlines eleven, Xiamen Airlines ten, Shanghai Airlines nine, Shandong Airlines six, 9 Air one, Fuzhou Airlines two, Kunming Airlines two, Lucky Air (China) three, and Okay Airways two.

The CAAC highlighted the similarities between the Ethiopian and Lion Air crashes while not explicitly linking the two. As it stands, pending direction from the US Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing Company, CAAC said B737 MAX 8 operations have been suspended until further notice.

Cayman Airways has also announced it has grounded its pair of B737 MAX 8s, one of which was only delivered last week.

"While the cause of this sad loss is undetermined at this time, we stand by our commitment to putting the safety of our passengers and crew first by maintaining complete and undoubtable safe operations, and as such, we have taken the decision to suspend operations of both our new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, effective from Monday March 11, 2019, until more information is received," Cayman Airways President and CEO, Fabian Whorms, said in a statement.

In Mongolia, MIAT - Mongolian Airlines has confirmed it has grounded its only B737 MAX 8 pending the outcome of the Ethiopian Airlines investigation.

In Kazakhstan, the country's Civil Aviation Committee (KZCAC) said it has recommended all airlines that operate any of the B737 Family of jets (SCAT Airlines, Prime Aviation, and Sunkar Air) as well as the B757/767 (Air Astana, Berkut, and SCAT), to conduct training, develop procedures, and include in their simulator training, scenarios with incorrect speed readings during the take-off, climb and flight level phases of flights in particular, loss of control in the event of unreliable speed indication during takeoff, climb, cruise.

In Indonesia, the local civil aviation authority (Direktorat Jenderal Perhubungan Udara - DJPU) has also ordered the temporary grounding of the type pending inspections.

"Inspections will start as soon as tomorrow, March 12, 2019. If problems are found at the time of inspection, the aircraft will be prohibited from flying until it is declared fit by the flight inspector," the DJPU said.

Garuda Indonesia operates one B737 MAX 8 and Lion Air ten.

"Until now, we have continued to take corrective steps starting from operational procedures and additional training and following up on the Airworthiness Directive issued by the Federal Aviation Administration," Director General of the DJPU's Air Transportation division, Polana B Pramesti, said in a statement. He added that his organization would closely liaise with the entities involved in the Ethiopian crash investigation.

"We will also communicate and monitor the investigation process of the B737 MAX 8 type that crashed in Ethiopia and coordinate with the FAA to decide on further steps in the improvement of the B737 MAX's operations," he added.

In Fiji, Fiji Airways said it has full confidence in the airworthiness of its pair of B737 MAX 8s and will continue to operate them for the time being.

"We have full confidence in the airworthiness of our fleet. We continue to ensure that our maintenance and training programme for pilots and engineers meets the highest safety standards," the airline said in a statement.

In South Korea, Eastar Jet flight crew have petitioned management to ground the LCC's two B737 MAX 8s until the causes of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes have been determined. Subsequently, the carrier decided to suspend the type's operations as of March 13, 2019. The Korean Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs (MLTMA) distributed the press release informing of the airline's decision but did not explicitly ban the operations of B737 MAX.

In Morocco, Royal Air Maroc said it will ground its two MAX 8s as it awaits the results of the investigation in Ethiopia.

In Germany, TUI Group has confirmed it has now grounded its fleet of B737 MAX 8s across its various AOCs - TUI fly (Belgium) (four), TUI fly (Netherlands) (three), TUI Airways (six), and TUI fly Nordic (two) - as of March 12.

Germany's Ministry of Transport also said on Tuesday, March 12, that it has closed its airspace to MAX 8 operations until further notice.

Norwegian, Europe's largest operator of the type, has grounded its fleet of MAX 8s as of Tuesday, March 12. The airline said in a statement that it would not operate the type until further notice.

LOT Polish Airlines, which operates five units, has continued with its MAX services for the time being.

In Ireland, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), which has thirteen MAX 8s on its register, has now decided to temporarily suspend the operation of all variants of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into and out of Irish airspace until further notice. The motion came into effect from 1500L on Tuesday, March 12.

In the United Kingdom, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has now issued instructions that all B737 MAX 8 and 9 operations in the United Kingdom, whether by UK AOC holders or foreign AOC holders and carriers, are to cease until appropriate safeguards are in place. The measure applies to any commercial passenger flights from any operator arriving, departing or overflying UK airspace.

France's civil aviation authority (Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile - DGAC) has banned all MAX 8 aircraft from its airspace effective Tuesday, March 12.

"Given the circumstances of the accident in Ethiopia, the French authorities have taken the decision, as a precautionary measure, to ban all Boeing 737 MAX commercial flights into, out of, or over French territory," it said.

The Netherlands has banned all B737 MAX 8 traffic from its airspace effective Tuesday, March 12, Infrastructure minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen said. The only Dutch carrier that is affected by the ban is TUI fly (Netherlands) which operates three aircraft of the type. Earlier in the day, parent firm TUI Group confirmed it had grounded all MAX 8s in services across its AOCs.

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), flydubai has continued with its MAX 8 operations while adopting a wait-and-see approach.

"We are monitoring the situation and continue to be in touch with Boeing," a Flydubai spokeswoman told The National on Monday. "The safety of our passengers and crew is our first priority."

In South Africa, Comair (South Africa) has said it has decided to remove its B737 MAX 8 from its flight schedule as of Monday, March 11. Wrenelle Stander, executive director of Comair’s airline division, said in a statement that although neither the South African regulatory authorities nor the manufacturer has required it to do so, it had decided to temporarily remove the aircraft from its schedule while it consults with other operators, Boeing and technical experts.

In Czechia, Smartwings (Czechia) has said it will maintain B737 MAX 8 operations while awaiting further instructions from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Oman Air has grounded its fleet of five MAX 8s effective March 12. It said in a statement that it had taken the decision based on a directive from the Omani Public Authority for Civil Aviation.

Turkish Airlines has suspended all B737 MAX operations as of Tuesday, March 12. The Turkish Transport Ministry said in a statement the grounding affects the airline's fleet of eleven MAX 8s and one recently delivered 9.

The Zimbabwean Government has now deemed the B737 MAX 8 "an unsafe aircraft", the Deputy Minister of Information, Energy Mutodi, has said.

"While investigations around the plane crash involving Indonesian & Ethiopian planes are continuing, we would like to advise Zimbabwean citizens that we have classified the American-built Boeing 737 MAX 8 as an unsafe aircraft due to its mulfunctioning[sic] auto-pilot software," he said via Twitter.

"A combination of malfunctioning sensors, an unfamiliar auto-diving software and inability to resist aerodynamic roughness in the lower atmosphere make the American Boeing 737 MAX 8 prone to take-off and landing accidents."

The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) has yet to comment on whether it will ban B737 MAX 8 flights to/from the country, based on Mutodi's comments.

In Russia, S7 Group has said it will continue to operate its B737 MAX 8s while investigations continue. However, according to the Federal News Agency, State Duma Deputy, and member of the Committee on Transport and Construction, Maxim Suraev, said in an interview that there are grounds to stop all B737 MAX 8 operations in Russia given the two accidents and the uncertainty surrounding their causes.

In Brazil, Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes initially said it will continue MAX 8 operations but subsequently decided to temporarily ground the type as of 2000LT on March 11, 2019.

"GOL reiterates its confidence in the safety of its operations and in Boeing, an exclusive partner since the company's inception in 2001, and clarifies that it is intensively monitoring all the facts," the Brazilian airline said on Twitter.

The Malaysian government has said it will reconsider plans to acquire twenty-five B737 MAX 8s for Malaysia Airlines in the wake of the two crashes. According to the Nikkei, Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali said "the management of [sovereign wealth fund and Malaysia Airlines' owner] Khazanah should look into the matter urgently. This is to ensure the safety of the airline, which is paramount."

The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) has also banned all MAX 8 traffic to/from and through Malaysian airspace until further notice as of March 12.

AeroMéxico has also temporarily grounded its six MAX 8s, despite underlying that the "aircraft are in perfect condition and in compliance with their maintenance programs" and that they never posed any problems to the Mexican carrier in the past.

Nigeria's Air Peace has said it remains committed to its order for ten B737 MAX despite the two accidents.

Ryanair has no plans to adjust its upcoming B737-8-200 delivery plan given the first of 135 is due to arrive from Boeing next month. "We wouldn't take any action at the moment," CEO Michael O'Leary told the Irish Independent newspaper in an interview. "We need to wait and see what the outcome of the investigation will be."

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) also banned the operation of the type, effectively grounding six units operated by SilkAir.

The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has also banned all B737 MAX from its airpsace. After Singaporean authorities grounded SilkAir's aircraft, the decision affects only Fiji Airways.

Aerolineas Argentinas has grounded its MAX 8s hours after the Airline Pilots Association of Argentina advised its members not to fly the type.

Icelandair Group has announced it has grounded Icelandair's three MAX 8s as of March 12. The holding said in a stock market filing that it believes the move will have a limited short-term impact as only three of its 33 jets are B737 MAX 8s and there is therefore leeway for it to continue normal operations for at least several weeks.

In India, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation mandated additional technical checks and advised SpiceJet and Jet Airways to use experienced cockpit crew on MAX flights, but stopped short of banning the type's operations.

While neither the FAA nor EASA has yet grounded the type, the FAA has said it will issue a Continued Airworthiness Notification to the International Community (CANIC) for B737 MAX operators going forward. The US Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) petitioned the FAA to ground the B737 MAX 8s "until their safe use has been confirmed."

"Continuing to fly an airplane that has been involved in two fatal crashes within just six months presents an unnecessary, potentially life-threatening risk to the traveling public," Feinstein wrote in a letter to the FAA Acting Administrator Daniel K. Elwell.

The largest operators of the MAX 8 are Southwest Airlines with thirty-four units and Air Canada and American Airlines with twenty-four each.

Editorial Comment: Added Dutch government update. Added Turkish Airlines update. Added Icelandair Group update. Added French DGAC update. Added TUI Group update. Added Norwegian update. Added Irish Aviation Authority update. Added UK CAA update. Added Oman Air update. Added Ryanair update. Added Air Peace update. Added AeroMexico update. Added Malaysia Airlines update. Added Aerolineas Argentinas update. Added Gol update. Added S7 Holdings update. Added Zimbabwean government update. Added SmartWings update. Added Oman Air update. Added Turkish Airlines update. Added Comair Ltd. update. Added flydubai update. Added Irish Aviation Authority update. Added Norwegian update. Added TUI Group update. Added information about Royal Air Maroc's decision to ground the type. Added Fiji Airways statement. Added Indonesian DJPU statement. - 12.03.2019 - 17:13 UTC