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Pressure mounts on Boeing as more airlines and nations, including Australia, ground Max 737 8 fleets

Pressure is mounting on Boeing after more airlines and countries grounded their fleets of 737 Max 8 jets in the wake of the Ethiopian air disaster.

India’s Jet Airways this morning joined airlines in China, Mexico, Ethiopia, Brazil and South Africa in resolving to keep their Max 8s in hangers pending safety reviews.

Australia has suspended 737 MAX aircraft from flying to or from the country while Singapore issued the same orders at its busy Changi airport. Indonesia grounded its fleets and Vietnam said it would not grant licences for the jet until the cause of Sunday’s crash was determined.

Flight ET302 was seen ‘swerving and dipping’ before crashing down minutes from take off from Addis Ababa on Sunday morning, killing all 157 on board including nine Britons. 

It was the second disaster involving the US planemaker’s latest model in less than five months after a Lion Air jet crashed in Indonesia in October, killing 189. US regulators have ordered Boeing to make urgent improvements to the aircraft model.   

Meanwhile, passengers have taken to social media to voice their concerns about the jet with some demanding that they be grounded globally while safety checks take place.

Pressure is mounting on Boeing after more airlines and countries grounded their fleets of 737 Max 8 jets in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines disaster. Pictured: Emergency crews at the scene of the crash last night

Flight ET302 was seen 'swerving and dipping' before crashing down minutes from take off from Addis Ababa on Sunday morning, killing all 157 on board including nine Britons

Flight ET302 was seen ‘swerving and dipping’ before crashing down minutes from take off from Addis Ababa on Sunday morning, killing all 157 on board including nine Britons

India's Jet Airways this morning joined airlines in China, Mexico, Ethiopia, Brazil and South Africa in resolving to keep their Max 8s in hangers pending safety reviews. Pictured: A SilkAir plane at Changi Airport after Singapore suspended operations for all Boeing 737 Max 8s at the busy terminal

India’s Jet Airways this morning joined airlines in China, Mexico, Ethiopia, Brazil and South Africa in resolving to keep their Max 8s in hangers pending safety reviews. Pictured: A SilkAir plane at Changi Airport after Singapore suspended operations for all Boeing 737 Max 8s at the busy terminal

Three Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes from Shanghai Airlines are pictured at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport in Shanghai. China ordered domestic airlines to suspend commercial operation of the jet model citing the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air disasters

Three Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes from Shanghai Airlines are pictured at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport in Shanghai. China ordered domestic airlines to suspend commercial operation of the jet model citing the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air disasters

British death toll from tragic Ethiopian Airlines plane rises to nine as Foreign Office confirms mother and son were also killed 

Nine Britons were killed in the Ethiopian Airlines flight which crashed yesterday morning – two more than was feared.

The Foreign Office revised up the number of British victims today after discovering that some of them had dual nationality.  

Last night it emerged that British-Somali passengers Sarah Hassan Said and Nasrudin Abdulakir were killed when the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet came down within minutes of take-off from Addis Ababa on Sunday. 

Another British victim was named yesterday as Sam Pegram, a 25-year-old aid worker who grew up in Lancashire. 

Mr Pegram’s old secondary school, Penwortham Priory Academy, confirmed their old pupil’s death and said he was remembered ‘with great fondness’.

In addition to UN worker Joanna Toole, polar expert Sarah Auffet and Joseph Waithaka from Hull, the latest news means that six out of nine British victims have now been named. 

At least 12 passengers, including Ms Toole, from Exmouth, Devon, were travelling to Nairobi for a UN environment gathering. 

Joanna Toole (pictured) has been named as one of the British victims of the air disaster in Ethiopia

Sarah Auffret (pictured), a French-British dual national, has been identified as a victim of the Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302

Briton Joanna Toole (left) and French-British dual national Sarah Auffret (right) have been named among victims of the air disaster in Ethiopia 

Irishman Michael Ryan (pictured) who worked for the UN's World Food Programme was another of the 149 passengers killed

Kenyan-British dual national Joseph Waithaka, pictured, was killed in the crash on his way home from visiting relatives in Hull

Irishman Michael Ryan (pictured left), who worked for the UN’s World Food Programme, and Kenyan-British dual national Joseph Waithaka  (right) – who used to live in Hull – were also among the 149 passengers killed 

Nasrudin Abdulkadir died in Sunday's crash

Sarah Hassan Said died in Sunday's crash

Nasrudin Abdulkadir and his mother Sarah Hassan Said, both Somali-British nationals, died on the doomed plane, the FCO confirmed on Monday evening

Sam Pegram, pictured, was named on Monday as another British victim

Sam Pegram, pictured, went to school in Lancashire

Sam Pegram, pictured, a 25-year-old aid worker was named on Monday as another British victim of the Ethiopian air disaster

The scare has wiped billions of dollars off the market value of the world’s biggest planemaker, as the Boeing Co share closed five per cent down on Monday having fallen by as much as 13.5 per cent at one point. 

Investigators have recovered the black box flight recorders from the Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines plane, which was carrying passengers and crew from 35 countries, including some two dozen UN staff.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Monday it was ordering Boeing to improve anti-stalling software and the model’s maneuvering system, giving the company until the end of April to make the updates.

But the body ruled out grounding the fleet for now. It said investigations had ‘just begun’ and so far no data had been provided to ‘draw any conclusions or take any actions.’

‘If we identify an issue that affects safety, the FAA will take immediate and appropriate action,’ it said in a statement.

Pictures have emerged showing the scale of the crash site from above.  Diggers have been excavating the site in a bid to locate bodies

Pictures have emerged showing the scale of the crash site from above.  Diggers have been excavating the site in a bid to locate bodies

The disaster was the second deadly incident involving the new model of Boeing passenger jet in less than five months, prompting concern over its safety

The disaster was the second deadly incident involving the new model of Boeing passenger jet in less than five months, prompting concern over its safety

As many as 19 UN workers were feared to have been killed in the crash, the number being so high because of its environmental forum which started on Monday

As many as 19 UN workers were feared to have been killed in the crash, the number being so high because of its environmental forum which started on Monday

Ethiopian Airlines chief executive Tewolde Gebremariam said the pilot had sent out a distress call and was given the all-clear to return to the airport

Ethiopian Airlines chief executive Tewolde Gebremariam said the pilot had sent out a distress call and was given the all-clear to return to the airport

Last last night, Boeing Co confirmed it will deploy a software upgrade to the 737 MAX 8, a few hours after the FAA said it would mandate ‘design changes’ in the aircraft by April.

Boeing did not reference Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines crash in connection to the software upgrade. The statement did express the company’s condolences to the relatives of the 157 people who died, however.

The company said in the aftermath of October’s Lion Air Flight crash it has for several months ‘been developing a flight control software enhancement for the 737 MAX, designed to make an already safe aircraft even safer.’ 

The software upgrade ‘will be deployed across the 737 MAX fleet in the coming weeks,’ it said.

Meanwhile, Australia’s civil aviation safety authority this morning suspended the MAX aircraft from flying to or from the country.

Newlywed husband received a text from wife while she was on board doomed Ethiopian jet… but she was dead before he was able to reply 

Indian newlywed Shikha Garg texted her husband from the doomed Ethiopian Airlines jet - but was dead before he could reply

Indian newlywed Shikha Garg texted her husband from the doomed Ethiopian Airlines jet – but was dead before he could reply

An Indian newly-wed received a text from his wife while she was on board the doomed Ethiopian Airlines jet – but she was dead before he was able to reply, it has emerged. 

Shikha Garg, who was travelling to a UN meeting in Nairobi, had married Soumya Bhattacharya less than three months ago after dating him for three years.

Bhattacharya was also supposed to fly with her to Nairobi but a last-minute change in plans meant he stayed back in New Delhi, the Times of India reported.

‘I have boarded the flight and will call you once I land,’ Garg texted.

But before the husband could type a reply, his phone buzzed and a caller informed him about the plane crash, the newspaper said.

Bhattacharya had also bought a flight ticket for Nairobi but cancelled it because of an urgent meeting.

The couple, who lived in New Delhi, had instead planned a vacation after Garg’s return from Nairobi, where she was due to attend the annual assembly of the UN Environment Programme.

On Monday Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said she was unable to get in touch with Garg’s family and appealed for help on Twitter.

Later she said she had managed to speak to Garg’s bereaved family members as well as those of other three Indians who died in the crash

Garg was a consultant with the Indian environment ministry and had taken part in the negotiations leading to the 2015 Paris climate accord.

The 'brand new' Boeing 737 MAX 8 took off from Bole International Airport and reached an altitude of 8,600ft before coming crashing down 37 miles from Addis Ababa

The ‘brand new’ Boeing 737 MAX 8 took off from Bole International Airport and reached an altitude of 8,600ft before coming crashing down 37 miles from Addis Ababa

The Nairobi-bound Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed just minutes after an early-morning takeoff Sunday from Addis Ababa.

People holding passports from 35 countries were on board including some two dozen UN staff.

The aircraft was the same type as the Indonesian Lion Air plane that crashed in October, killing 189 passengers and crew.

The latest crash has prompted airlines across the world to begin withdrawing the model from schedules.

Indian regulators Monday ordered additional maintenance checks on Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes but ruled out any immediate grounding of the fleet.

India’s Spicejet and Jet Airways together operate 17 of the planes.

Jet, which has had to ground parts of its fleet in recent weeks due to its financial woes, said none of its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft was operational at present. 

‘This is a temporary suspension while we wait for more information to review the safety risks of continued operations of the Boeing 737 MAX to and from Australia,’ Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority CEO Shane Carmody said in a statement.

Singapore regulators’ have announced that all types of MAX aircraft were banned from its airspace. That came after China ordered domestic airlines to suspend commercial operations of the MAX 8, and Indonesia grounded its entire fleet of the jets for inspections.

Ethiopian Airlines has grounded its remaining MAX 8 jets, while airlines in South Africa, Brazil and Mexico have taken theirs out of service and pilots from Argentina’s Aerolineas Argentinas are refusing to fly them.

The Malaysian government ordered an urgent review of orders for several MAX aircrafts by flag carrier Malaysia Airlines.

Several airlines have said they are not cancelling MAX 8 flights, however, while US carriers appear to retain confidence in the manufacturer. 

Britain’s only airline to operate the jet, TUI Airways, has insisted it will not ground its fleet. The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has also said that the Max 8 could continue to operate from Britain.

TUI and Norwegian are the only airlines that currently fly the aircraft in Britain. TUI owns 15 of the planes, flying out of Manchester. 

Norwegian, which operates flights from London Gatwick and Edinburgh, has 18.

US plane maker Boeing is facing questions over the safety of one of its key aircraft models after an Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed killing 157 – the second disaster involving a 737 MAX 8 in just five months. Pictured: The crash scene yesterday

Aftermath: Parts of the plane's landing gear lie in the soil at the crash site some 40 miles from Addis Ababa

Aftermath: Parts of the plane’s landing gear lie in the soil at the crash site some 40 miles from Addis Ababa

Countries and carriers around the globe ground the 737 Max 8 

A growing number of airlines around the world have grounded their Boeing 737 Max 8 jets following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane that killed 157 people on Sunday, five months after a similar Indonesian Lion Air jet plunged into the ocean, killing 189. Here is a list of airlines and countries that have grounded the aircraft so far. 

BRAZIL

Brazil’s Gol Airlines has suspended the use of 121 Max 8 jets. The airline said it is following the investigation of the Max 8 closely and hopes to return the aircraft to use as soon as possible. 

Gol said it has made nearly 3,000 flights with the Max 8, which went into service last June, with ‘total security and efficiency.’ 

CAYMAN ISLANDS

Cayman Airways, a Caribbean carrier, said it stopped using its two Max 8 jets starting Monday. 

President and CEO Fabian Whorms said the airline is committed to ‘putting the safety of our passengers and crew first.’ 

Whorms said the move will cause changes to flight schedules. Cayman is the flag carrier of Cayman Islands, a British overseas territory. It received its first Max 8 in November and its second earlier this month. 

CHINA

China has 96 Max 8 jets in service, belonging to carriers such as Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines. 

The civilian aviation authority directed the planes to be grounded indefinitely on Monday. It said the order was ‘taken in line with the management principle of zero tolerance for security risks.’ 

There were eight Chinese citizens on the Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed shortly after taking off on Sunday. The authority said it will consult the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing before deciding when to lift the ban. 

ETHIOPIA

A spokesman for Ethiopian Airlines says it will ground its remaining four Max 8 jets as an ‘extra safety precaution’ while it investigates Sunday’s deadly crash. Asrat Begashaw said investigations and the search for bodies and aircraft debris will continue. The airline is awaiting the delivery of 25 more Max 8 jets. 

INDIA

India’s Jet Airways says it is ‘in contact with the manufacturer’ of Max 8 jets and has grounded five of them starting Monday. 

Indian airline SpiceJet also uses the aircraft, but it’s unclear if those planes are grounded. Calls and emails to the company were unanswered Tuesday.

On Monday, India’s aviation watchdog ordered a safety assessment of the aircraft. It also issued safety instructions for flying the Max 8 jet. 

INDONESIA

Indonesia says it will temporarily ground Max 8 jets to inspect their airworthiness. 

Director General of Air Transportation Polana B. Pramesti said the move was made to ensure flight safety. A Lion Air model of the same plane crashed in Indonesia in October. 

Indonesian airlines operate 11 Max 8 jets. Lion Air, which owns 10 of them, said it will try to minimize the impact of the decision on operations. The other Max 8 jet belongs to national carrier Garuda. 

MEXICO

Mexican airline Aeromexico has suspended flights of its six Max 8 jets after the crash in Ethiopia. Aeromexico said it ‘fully’ trusts the safety of its fleet but ordered the grounding to ensure ‘the safety of its operations and the peace of mind of its customers.’ It said other planes will take over the routes usually flown by the Max 8. 

SINGAPORE

Singapore has temporarily banned Max 8 jets – and other models in the Max range – from entering and leaving the country. The civil aviation authority said it was ‘closely monitoring the situation’ and the ban will be ‘reviewed as relevant safety information becomes available.’ 

It added that it was in close communication with the FAA, Boeing and other aviation authorities. SilkAir, a regional carrier owned by Singapore Airlines, has six Max 8 jets. 

It said the ban ‘will have an impact on some of the airline’s flight schedules.’ The authority said flights to Singapore by China Southern Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Shandong Airlines and Thai Lion Air will also be affected. 

A TUI spokesman said: ‘TUI Airways remain in close contact with the manufacturer and regulatory authorities and we have no indication that we cannot safely operate our 737 MAX aircraft. The safety and wellbeing of our customers and staff remains our primary concern.’

Tui ordered 32 Max aircraft as part of a major fleet overhaul and took delivery of its first Max 8 in December. 

It was the first UK-registered airline to receive one of the new Boeing aircraft and plans to roll out its orders over the next five years.

A spokesman for the UK Civil Aviation Authority said there are currently five MAX 8s registered and operational in Britain with a sixth aircraft due to enter operation for Tui later this week. 

Transport minister Baroness Sugg said the Civil Aviation Authority was working closely with the European Aviation Safety Agency.

She said: ‘The current position is more information is needed to warrant any grounding decision.’

But Labour peer Lord Tunnicliffe, a former pilot, urged the Government to immediately ground the Boeing plane.

He said: ‘In my day we had a rule – If it can go wrong it will go wrong. The industry seems to have lost sight of this rule. I believe everybody involved will be shown to be in dereliction of their duty.’

Holidaymakers took to social media to voice their concerns. Lucy Barcoo asked TUI on Twitter: ‘Can you please tell me which type of aircraft my flight home from Ibiza will be on please? Very concerned about the Boeing 737 Max.’

Mulugeta Gatechew (pictured) was the main pilot on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302

Mulugeta Gatechew (pictured) was the main pilot on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302

Michael Bibby wrote: ‘TUI need to ground the death plane until Boeing provide a proper fix!’

Boeing has described the MAX series as its fastest-selling family of planes, with more than 5,000 orders placed to date from about 100 customers.

But not since the 1970s – when the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 had successive fatal incidents – has a new model been involved in two deadly accidents in such a short period.

The weekend crash sent Boeing shares nosediving as much as 12 percent on Monday.

The plane involved in Sunday’s crash was less than four months old, with Ethiopian Airlines saying it was delivered on November 15.

It went down near the village of Tulu Fara, some 40 miles (60 kilometers) east of Addis Ababa.

Inhabitants of the remote area looked on from behind a security cordon as inspectors searched the crash site and excavated it with a mechanical digger.

The single-aisle Boeing jet had left a deep, black crater.

Ethiopian Airlines said the pilot was given clearance to turn around after indicating problems shortly before the plane disappeared from radar.

The airline’s chief executive Tewolde GebreMariam said the plane had flown in from Johannesburg early Sunday, spent three hours in Addis and was ‘dispatched with no remark,’ meaning no problems were flagged.

The crash cast a pall over a gathering of the UN Environment Programme as it opened in Nairobi – at least 22 staff from several UN agencies were on board the doomed flight.

Delegates hugged and comforted one another as they arrived at the meeting with the UN flag flying at half-mast.

Other passengers included tourists and business travelers.

Kenya had the highest death toll among the nationalities on the flight with 32, according to Ethiopian Airlines. Canada was next with 18 victims.

There were also passengers from other countries including Ethiopia, Italy, the US, Britain and France.

Among those on board was Italian archaeologist Sebastiano Tusa, 66, his wife Valeria Patrizia Li Vigni was quoted as saying by the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

On Sunday, ‘the friends I met at mass said I shouldn’t worry because bad news travels fast,’ she said.

‘In the end it arrived anyway, and it destroyed my life. I felt the disaster coming… He hadn’t even wanted to go.’

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk