India aviation authority grounds Boeing 737 MAX airplanes
India joined late Tuesday a global ban on flying the Boeing 737 MAX plane after this week’s crash of this aircraft type in the African skies, increasing the likelihood of a further rise in domestic fares that remain high due to unrelated flight cancellations by some carriers.
周二晚些时候，印度加入了一项全球禁飞波音737 MAX的行列。一架波音737 MAX本周在非洲上空坠毁。由于部分航空公司取消了一些航班，国内机票价格本就居高不下，停飞波音737 MAX加大了机票进一步上涨的可能性。
“(Industry regulator) DGCA has taken the decision to ground the Boeing 737-MAX planes immediately. These planes will be grounded (until) appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations. As always, passenger safety remains our top priority. We continue to consult closely with regulators around the world, airlines, and aircraft manufacturers to ensure passenger safety,” the aviation ministry tweeted late evening.
The ban comes a day after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had allowed the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to fly under stricter conditions.
The ban would impact SpiceJet the most. SpiceJet and troubled Jet Airways are the only two airlines operating the Boeing 737 MAX in the country.
Grounding of 12 such aircraft operated by the local carriers could disrupt the operations and increase domestic fares that are already high due to flight cancellations by Jet Airways and IndiGo.
Separately, the European Union’s aviation safety agency EASA suspended all flights in the bloc by Boeing’s 737-8 and 737-9 airplanes, Reuters reported late Tuesday.
“EASA has decided to suspend all flight operations of the two affected models,” the Reuters report said, citing the agency.
Jet’s aircraft are grounded due to financial problems. SpiceJet, earlier on Tuesday, had said that it would continue to fly the MAX with precautionary measures in place.
The UK, Germany and France on Tuesday joined the international ban on flying the Boeing 737 MAX, one of which operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed Sunday killing all 157 people on board. China, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Australia and Brazil had announced bans on Monday, a day after the crash, taking the total number of countries restricting flights by this aircraft type to 16.
周二, 英国、德国和法国加入了禁飞波音737 MAX的行列。埃航运营的波音737 MAX于周日坠毁，机上157人全部遇难。中国、印度尼西亚、埃塞俄比亚、澳大利亚和巴西在飞机坠毁后的第二天，即周一，宣布了禁飞令，这使得限制这类飞机飞行的国家总数达到16个。
The market believes that curbs on Boeing 737 MAX operations in India would bring problems for SpiceJet, which plans to expand in West Asia through this aircraft type.
“If India also imposes curbs on the use of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, SpiceJet may face a bigger problem. Right now, SpiceJet is in a sweet spot because Jet Airways is facing problems,” said Sanjiv Bhasin, executive VP-markets and corporate affairs at IIFL. He spoke to ET before the DGCA announced the late evening ban.
SpiceJet shares fell on Tuesday on concerns that grounding of these aircraft would hurt the airline’s revenue and profitability. Shares closed at Rs 78.80, down 5.29%, on a day the Sensex rose 481.56 points. Shares of SpiceJet have fallen 41.6% in the past year. On the NYSE, Boeing shed 5.28% to $378.71 a share.
“The aircraft (type) has flown hundreds of thousands of hours globally and some of the world’s largest airlines are flying this. We are actively engaged with both Boeing and DGCA and will continue to put safety first, as always. We have already implemented all additional precautionary measures, as directed by the DGCA on Monday,” SpiceJet had said earlier in a statement Tuesday.