Following two high-profile Boeing 737 MAX aircraft crashes in recent months, Singapore’s civil aviation authority (CAAS) announced on Tuesday (March 12) that it is suspending operations of all variants of the plane into and out of the country.
Singapore’s suspension starts at 2pm on Tuesday and “will be reviewed as relevant safety information becomes available,” CAAS said.
Singapore is one of three countries to ground the plane so far, the other two being China and Indonesia.
The crashes involving Boeing’s aircraft occurred on Lion Air flight JT610 last October and Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 on Sunday (March 10), killing 189 people and 157 people respectively.
SilkAir, four other airlines affected
The suspension will mainly affect SilkAir, which operates six of these aircraft. CAAS added that it had been in contact with the airline about the operation of these planes since 2018, and was “satisfied” with its compliance to safety requirements.
Four more airlines – China Southern Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Shandong Airlines and Thai Lion Air – will also be affected, as these carriers currently use the aircraft on flights to Singapore.
During the suspension, CAAS said it would “gather more information and review the safety risk associated with the continued operation of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft”.
It added that it is working with Changi Airport and the affected airlines to minimise the impact of the suspension on passengers.
Singapore’s aviation regulator said it was communicating closely with the US Federal Aviation Administration and other aviation regulators, as well as aircraft manufacturer Boeing.