Johannesburg – The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) on Tuesday welcomed Comair’s decision to ground its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft from its flight schedule.
SACAA’s spokesperson Kabelo Ledwaba said that the grounding must be commended.
The decision showed that the operator puts the concerns, interest and safety of its passengers and crew first, Ledwaba said.
The decision to remove Boeing 737 Max 8 comes in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines crash which killed 157 people on board on Sunday.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and engage all stakeholders including the operators and the manufacturers on this matter.
“We are ready to provide any support that may be requested by counterparts.’’ Ledwaba said.
While the cause of Sunday’s crash is yet to be determined, Comair said its decision was not promoted by regulatory authorities and manufacturers, adding that it would consult with other operators about the decision.
Comair is an airline based in South Africa, and is the only one that has Boeing 737 Max 8 in the country.
A number of countries including China, Britain, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, Brazil and South Korea, among others have either suspended or banned commercial operations of Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft over their territory
Germany’s Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer on Tuesday said that “until all doubts have been dispelled, I have ordered that the German airspace is closed for the Boeing 737 Max as of now.”
The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) suspended all flights of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 in its airspace on Tuesday after a plane crash in Ethiopia.
While clarifying no Malaysian carriers operates the aircraft, the aviation regulator’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ahmad Zolfakar ordered an immediate suspension of the type, after two fatal aircraft accidents involving the model in less than five months.
The first one occurred in October 2018 when a Boeing 737 Max 8 operated by Lion Air plunged into the water off western parts of Indonesia minutes after taking off, killing all 189 people aboard.
Boeing says it has “full confidence” in the safety of its 737 MAX 8 jets and doesn’t plan to issue new guidance.
The company says in a statement it is aware that regulatory agencies in some countries have decided to ground the jets following a fatal accident in Ethiopia on Sunday.
It will continue to engage with them “to ensure they have the information needed to have confidence in operating their fleets,” Boeing’s statement says.
It noted that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was not mandating any further action based on the information currently available.(Xinhua/NAN)