China's three flag carriers stop flying Boeing’s 737 MAX 8
More than a dozen Chinese carriers operate the model, with 246 domestic routes and 355 domestic flights scheduled on Monday.
Civil aviation regulators of China, Ethiopia and at least two other jurisdictions have ordered carriers to temporarily stop flying the 737 MAX 8 aircraft, as the crash in Addis Ababa was the second fatal accident in five months involving the latest version of what Boeing calls “the most popular jet aircraft of all time.”
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), whose airlines are collectively the world’s biggest customers of the 737 MAX 8, ordered all commercial operations involving the single-aisle jet to halt by 6PM Monday.
China, on track to surpass the United States as the largest air travel market by 2022, may need to buy 7,240 new aircraft by 2037 valued at USD1.1 trillion, making Chinese carriers the largest collective customers for Boeing.
The grounding of the 737 MAX 8 affects more than a dozen Chinese carriers, which have already taken delivery of close to 100 of the model. As many as 246 Chinese domestic routes and 355 domestic flights were scheduled on Monday for the jet model, excluding international services, according to 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 carriers that fly the aircraft, which can carry between 138 to 230 passengers depending on their configurations. The aircraft is listed at USD121.6 million before the discounts that are typical of bulk orders.
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