ANKARA / ISTANBUL
Turkey has suspended flights of Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 planes as part of “precautionary measures”, officials said Tuesday.
In a statement, the Transport and Infrastructure Ministry said both models of planes were involved in two separate accidents within the past five months and Turkish officials were evaluating possible reasons for the accidents.
The planes would continue to be suspended until further notice, it added.
Turkey’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines announced it had stopped operations of 12 Boeing 737 MAX type planes.
Bilal Eksi, the CEO of the carrier, said in a tweet the planes would be withdrawn from commercial flights as of March 13.
He stated that Turkish Airlines and the Boeing Company were in coordination regarding the issue.
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.
* Writing by Ali Murat Alhas