The United Kingdom is the latest country to ban the Boeing 737 MAX 8 from operating in UK airspace.
In a statement released by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority, the decision was made as a precautionary measure following the deadly crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 that claimed 157 lives on 10 Sunday 2019.
"The UK Civil Aviation Authority has been closely monitoring the situation, however, as we do not currently have sufficient information from the flight data recorder we have, as a precautionary measure, issued instructions to stop any commercial passenger flights from any operator arriving, departing or overflying UK airspace," the statement read.
Joining other countries who have taken similar steps to block flights operated by 737 Max 8 aircraft, the list now includes Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Singapore, Oman, Australia and China.
While 737 Max 8 aircraft operating in the US remain unaffected for the time being, the US Federal Aviation Administration has ordered Boeing to introduce critical software updates for the aeroplane by April 2019.
CAA’s mandate is expected to remain active until further notice.
Impact on airlines
Following the crash, Ethiopian Airlines moved to ground its Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet, a move that was similarly copied by Cayman Airways who grounded their two relatively new models, as well as Lion Air.
Within the UK aviation market, Tui Airways and Norwegian Air are expected to be affected by the new directive.
Affected airlines operating within the Asian market include SilkAir, Eastar Jet, Fiji Airways and Garuda Indonesia. In China, Air China, Shandong Airlines, and China Southern Airlines have also grounded their fleets.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has now suspended all Boeing 737 Max operations in Europe.