After the grounding of the Boeing 737MAX by China, will India and DGCA follow?

Post the ET-302 crash, China has ordered grounding of the aircraft across all airlines. Following the same, India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has demanded information from Boeing. It will now be interesting to see what Indian airline companies such as Jet Airways and SpiceJet will do.

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An Ethiopian Airlines operated Boeing 737 MAX 8 Aircraft crashed six minutes into a routine flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi. This is an unfortunate event as the aircraft was just 4 months old and it is reported to have four Indian nationals onboard too. The crash follows a similar incident that happened in Indonesia where more than 180 passengers lost their lives on a MAX. These incidents have sent the alarm bells ringing for MAX in about 2 years of service.

Keeping the same in mind, India's aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has demanded information from Boeing. Indian airlines such as Jet Airways and SpiceJet have been operating the aircraft.

Jet Airways and SpiceJet have ordered more than 200 B737 Max each. However, Jet Airways has grounded all of its 737 Max aircraft owing to lease payment issues, SpiceJet continues to operate the same in the country and abroad. Before the grounding, both Jet and SpiceJet operated many MAX planes out of Mumbai. However, with China issuing a grounding of their fleet of the MAX on Monday morning, it would be interesting to look at DGCA actions regarding the same.

Post the incident in Indonesia, DGCA had conducted a review performance post the incident and found the aircraft to be safe. However, despite that, the 737 MAX has not been certified for ETOPS by DGCA yet. With more than 340 lives claimed and about the same number of MAX flying, the record is an unwanted black mark for Boeing. The 737 MAX is a modified and fuel-efficient version of the Boeing 737, one of the most successful short and medium-range passenger aircraft operated by the likes of Jet Airways, SpiceJet and Air India.

More information regarding the condition of the aircraft and reports from Boeing are awaited.

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