China's civil aviation regulator on Monday ordered domestic carriers to ground nearly 100 Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes, citing flight safety, a day after an aircraft of similar model operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed in Addis Ababa killing all 157 passengers and crew, including four Indians.
There were similarities between the two mishaps, since they both occurred during take-off, involving new aircraft that had just been delivered, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported quoting a statement by the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC).
"In accordance with the CAAC's management principle of zero tolerance for safety hazards, the authority has instructed all domestic carriers to temporarily halt operations involving the aircraft model before 6pm (local time) on March 11," the Post quoted the CAAC statement as saying.
The grounding of the aircraft is likely to affect more than a dozen Chinese carriers, which have taken delivery of close to 100 of the latest single-aisle plane from the US aircraft maker, it said.
CNN, quoting state-run media, said Chinese carriers have 97 Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes.
As many as 246 Chinese domestic routes and 355 domestic flights were scheduled on Monday for the 737 MAX 8 planes, excluding international services, the report said quoting Chinese flight data provider VariFlight.
As many as 29 flights have already been cancelled, while 259 fights were replaced by other aircraft.
China Southern Airlines, Air China, China Eastern Airlines, Hainan Airlines are among the carriers that fly the aircraft, which can carry between 138 to 230 passengers depending on their configurations, the report said.
Meanwhile, the Chicago-based Boeing said it did not intend to issue any new guidance to its customers and a company's technical team will be travelling to the crash site to provide technical assistance to Ethiopian and US investigators.
"Boeing is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the passengers and crew on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a 737 MAX 8 airplane. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew on board and stand ready to support the Ethiopian Airlines team.
"A Boeing technical team will be travelling to the crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and US National Transportation Safety Board," the statement from the company said.
The 737 is the best-selling airliner in history. Its newest version 737 MAX 8 has more fuel-efficient engines. The aircraft is a central part of Boeing's strategy to compete with its European rival Airbus.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)