Dubai (AFP) – The United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Oman on Tuesday banned Boeing’s 737 MAX jet from their airspace following a second deadly crash involving the model within five months.
The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority said the move was a “precautionary measure aimed at protecting public safety,” state news agency WAM reported.
Budget airline flydubai said it had grounded 13 of its aircraft and would operate flights using alternative Boeing jets in its fleet.
On Sunday a new Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 went down minutes into a flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, killing all 157 people on board.
That came after a Lion Air jet of the same model crashed in Indonesia in October, killing 189.
Kuwait also banned the aircraft because “it seems that this type of airplane is facing a technical problem,” said Imad Jalaoui, deputy head of the country’s aviation safety department.
“We are waiting for information from the manufacturing company that confirms the safety of the plane,” he told AFP.
Oman announced earlier Tuesday it would temporarily suspend operations of the 737 MAX aircraft, in a Twitter post by Muscat’s Public Authority for Civil Aviation.
The sultanate’s national carrier, Oman Air, has five Boeing MAX aircraft in its fleet, according to the airline’s website.
The European Union was among those to ban the best-selling plane from its airspace, while carriers including Turkish Airlines have grounded their jets.
Boeing chief Dennis Muilenburg said the aviation giant is “confident in the safety of the 737 MAX,” in an email to employees.