India has joined the list of 40-plus countries, in a global ban grounding Boeing 737 MAX following the Ethiopian Airlines catastrophic crash on Sunday killing everyone on board.
The Indian regulatory body for civil aviation, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) took the decision late Tuesday night to ground the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The aviation Ministry tweeted, “these planes will be grounded till appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations.” The Ministry added that passenger safety remains their top priority and was in consultation with regulators around the world, airlines and aircraft manufacturers to ensure the same.
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The ban will affect SpiceJet and Jet Airways as both airlines operate the Boeing 737 MAX. Experts say this will no doubt disrupt operations and hike domestic fares. And this will also have negative effect on SpiceJet. Reports show that within a couple of hours of the Ministry’s order to ground the said aircraft, SpiceJet shares fell.
The airline in a statement said “the aircraft (Boeing 737) has flown hundreds of thousands of hours globally and some of the world’s largest airlines are flying this. We are actively engaged with both Boeing and DGCA and will continue to put safety first, as always. We have already implemented all additional precautionary measures as directed by the DGCA on Monday.”
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The DGCA had instructed only pilots with 1,000 hours of experience on MAX to fly the said aircraft.
A senior pilot, unhappy with the Ministry’s decision, said the order didn’t make sense. He said “It is about a snag in the aircraft, its operating system. It is not something that can be taken care of by simply asking for experienced pilots to fly the plane. That decision of the DGCA doesn’t make sense.”