Saturday 20 April 2019

EU to keep Boeing 737 Max grounded for now

Vow: Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency. Photo: Bloomberg
Vow: Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency. Photo: Bloomberg

Alastair Macdonald

THE European Union will not allow models of the Boeing aircraft that crashed in Ethiopia to fly in its skies until it has received sufficient guarantees from the US planemaker, the head of the bloc's aviation safety agency said.

Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), said EASA would look "very deeply" at Boeing's software updates and study all the failure modes of the Boeing 737 Max.

The Max was grounded in Europe last week after one of the models crashed in Ethiopia on March 10, killing 157 people. Six months before that a Max operated by Lion Air crashed in Indonesia.

"I can guarantee to you that on our side we will not allow the aircraft to fly if we have not found acceptable answers to all our questions on that," Mr Ky told the European Parliament transport committee. He added that EU decisions would be made irrespective of what the US watchdog, the Federal Aviation Administration, decide on the case.

Just 13 of the 737 MAX are registered in Ireland. Norwegian Airways is the only airline to use them in an Irish schedule and grounded its Max aeroplanes following the Ethiopian Airways crash.

Ryanair has a large order for 135 737 Max jets, but has not taken delivery of any of the planes yet.

Reuters

Irish Independent

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