Adverse reaction from the global airline industry to the second fatal crash of a brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8 airliner in the space of just five months has been swift and detrimental to The Boeing Company and its subsidiary, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has ordered all Chinese domestic airlines to suspend the commercial operations of all Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft by 6:00 p.m. local time (1000 GMT) today, just one day after a deadly crash of a 737 MAX 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines on a routine flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Kenya.
The order affects all the 96 737 MAX 8 jet airliners flown by domestic Chinese airlines. Other airlines around the world are monitoring the events and might follow suit.
Cayman Airways has grounded both of its new 737 MAX 8 jets until it receives more information about the Ethiopian crash. Singapore Airlines, whose subsidiary SilkAir operates the 737 MAX, said it was closely monitoring the situation, but its planes continued to operate as scheduled.
Indonesia said it would continue to monitor its airlines operating the 737 MAX, which include Lion Air and Garuda Indonesia but it did not mention any plan to ground the planes.
Some 350 Boeing 737 MAX-8s are flying worldwide with another 5,000 on order.
The crash killed all 157 onboard aboard Flight ET302, which fell from the sky a scant six minutes into the flight. Ethiopian Air revealed the pilot had radioed the plane was experiencing a technical problem and requested permission to return to Addis Ababa. That was the pilot's last transmission.
Media has been flooded with reports of the eerie similarities regarding the crash of this Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX-8 to a similar aircraft operated by Lion Air. Lion Air Flight crashed on Oct. 29, 2018 in the sea off Jakarta, Indonesia 13 minutes after take-off, killing all 189 persons onboard. Both planes were still climbing to their cruising altitude when they fell.
Aviation analysts interviewed on news programs state the aircraft involved in both deadly crashes were brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8s with less than a year in service. Both ill-fated planes suffered their fatal accidents during the first few minutes of flight.
Boeing issued a hasty software fix after the Lion Air crash but was faulted by aviation experts for not telling airline pilots about this fix. Some analysts also noted the Boeing 737's engines were a more powerful version of that used on former 737 models and might have had something to do with both crashes.
"Given that two accidents both involved newly delivered Boeing 737-8 planes and happened during take-off phase, they have some degree of similarity," said CAAC in its order to local airlines to stop flying the 737 MAX-8.
CAAC also said it will notify local airlines as to when they can resume flying the airliner after contacting Boeing and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure flight safety. The FAA has sent teams to the crash site in Ethiopia. Ethiopian Airlines has a sterling safety record.
The cause of the Indonesian crash is still being investigated. A preliminary report issued in November, before the cockpit voice recorder was recovered, focused on airline maintenance and training. Based on this, Boeing installed an anti-stall system to a recently replaced sensor but did not give a reason for the crash.
A U.S. official told Reuters the U.S. unsure of what information China based its decision. This same official alleges U.S. airlines have no reason to stop flying the MAX08 because of this aircraft's alleged "stellar safety record" in the United States. There is also a lack of information about the cause of the Ethiopian crash.
This article originally appeared in IBTimes US.