CAAT ready to ban B-737 Max if advised to by FAA

CAAT ready to ban B-737 Max if advised to by FAA

A Boeing 737 Max 9 flown by Thai Lion Air. The airline confirmed on Tuesday it has  three of the planes in its fleet, and guaranteed their safety and airworthiness. (Photo supplied)
A Boeing 737 Max 9 flown by Thai Lion Air. The airline confirmed on Tuesday it has three of the planes in its fleet, and guaranteed their safety and airworthiness. (Photo supplied)

The governor of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand said on Tuesday he was ready to ban Boeing 737 Max passenger aircraft from Thai airspace if he received clear instruction to do so from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States.

CAAT director-general Chula Sukmanop was responding to questions as a number of carriers and countries announced bans following the second deadly crash of Boeing's best-selling passenger plane in five months, first in Indonesia and now Ethiopia.

"The CAAT prioritises aviation safety. If there is clear information requiring abrupt action, I will take action right away," he said.

Mr Chula said aviation authorities in countries that are banning the 737 Max 8 and its variants might just be waiting for more information from Boeing and the FAA, which certifies the aircraft's design, and for instructions relating to the crashes.

He said one Thai-registered airline was flying three Boeing 737 Max 9s and their airworthiness had been checked regularly.

Thai Lion Air confirmed on Tuesday that it had been operating three Boeing 737 Max 9 planes in its 34-plane fleet for a year and it closely monitored their airworthiness and ensured air crews and ground staff were always up to date with safety standards and complied with regulations.

Its flight services were supervised by the CAAT and passenghers could have confidence in their safety, the airline said.

As of Tuesday evening, China, Indonesia, Singapore and Australia had suspended all operations of 737 Max variants, while Ethiopian Airlines Group, Grupo Aeromexico SAB de CV, Brazil’s GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA and South Korea’s Eastar Jet Inc had grounded their own Max aircraft.


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