Hong Kong and Kazakhstan on Wednesday joined the growing list of nations barring Boeing 737 MAX from flying over their airspace with immediate effect in the wake of a deadly plane crash in Ethiopia last Sunday.
The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) of Hong Kong — a semi-autonomous Chinese region — said that it has imposed a temporary suspension from 6 p.m. local time (1000GMT) on Wednesday until further notice on “operation of Boeing B737 MAX aircraft into, out of and over Hong Kong”, Press Trust of India reported.
AKI Press News Agency said that Civil Aviation Committee of Kazakhstan also decided to suspend commercial operation of Boeing 737 Max plane.
However, it added that there was only one plane of this model in the country.
“The ban is solely a precautionary measure to ensure aviation safety and protect the public,” a CAD spokesman said.
Soon after the crash of Boeing 737 MAX in Ethiopia, China blocked the Boeing from flying which was followed by the European Union, U.K., Mongolia, India and Turkey despite assurances given by the Boeing.
The results of the crash investigation are yet to come. The Boeing 737 Max 8 has been in commercial use since 2016.
Hong Kong officials further said that they are in contact with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and relevant organizations, including two airlines — India’s SpiceJet and Globus Airlines of Russia — that have recently used the 737 MAX for flights to Hong Kong.
On Sunday, a Kenya-bound Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed just six minutes after taking off from an airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
All 157 people on board – 149 passengers and eight crew members – representing 35 countries were killed in the crash.
It was the second deadly crash of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in less than five months. On Oct. 29, the Indonesian Lion Air plane crashed into the sea killing 189 people.