AIRLINES FACING SEARCHING QUESTIONS BY TRAVELERS VOTING WITH THEIR FEET ON WHICH AIRCRAFT TO FLY WITH
(Posted 12th March 2019)
(Picture courtesy of Wikipedia)
While the US’s FAA is sitting on the fence at present over growing demands by the travelling public to ground the Boeing B737MAX until clarity on the cause of the two crashes has been obtained, have the American regulators nevertheless issued an air worthiness directive to users of this aircraft.
The FAA has demanded software design changes to be implemented by April this year but has shied away from grounding the B737MAX fleets under their jurisdiction while elsewhere in the world airlines themselves are now pulling the plug on the plane’s operation in increasing numbers.
Singapore has now joined their counterparts in China and Indonesia and directed a flight ban for any B737MAX on their registry in use and Thailand’s Lion Air followed suit. In South America has GOL grounded its seven aircraft of this type while, as reported elsewhere here this morning, AeroMexico too has pulled them from service.
Argentina’s airline pilots association has directed their members to stop flying the B737MAX until the aircraft’s safety is fully ascertained.
Meanwhile is a wave of booking changes coming the way of airlines still operating this aircraft model with passengers demanding to be rebooked and on a flight operated by a different aircraft, a sign that a stiff wind of dissent is blowing the way of Boeing and the respective airlines, still holding out.
When the Boeing B787 Dreamliner was grounded world wide had a series of battery incidents, thankfully non fatal at the time, cast stormclouds of doubts on that aircraft and, with teeth no doubt grinding, did Boeing have to endure the down time while frantically searching for safe fixes of the problem.
It has also been noted, again, that the language of Boeing in statements issued after the second B737MAX8 crash, is primarily seen as wall building and ring fencing against any potential upcoming legal cases against the manufacturer – while in contrast Ethiopian Airlines’ corporate communications and reaction to the crash can only be described as near exemplary.
It is clearly too early to arrive at a conclusion over what actually caused the crash of flight ET302 but the similarities to the Lion Air crash last October are simply too stark to ignore. The two black boxes are presently undergoing evaluation and data interpretation and the content will play a major role in the determination of the crash cause.
The air accident investigation team in Addis Ababa is working around the clock now to put the various pieces together of what might have led to the crash just minutes after take off, of an almost brand new aircraft flown by an experienced senior captain.
Watch this space for breaking and regular aviation news from across Africa.