Following fatal crashes of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in Ethiopia and Indonesia, all operation of the aircraft has been temporarily suspended to and from Australia.
The decision, made by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), means Australia will join a global ban of the aircraft by more than 40 countries.
While no Australian airlines operate the Boeing 737 MAX, two foreign airlines fly these aircraft types to Australia.
Singapore based SilkAir has already temporarily suspended operation of its 737 MAX aircraft, and Fiji Airways is the only other operator that will be affected by the temporary suspension.
CASA is working with Fiji Airlines to minimise any disruptions and with regulators in Fiji and Singapore. Fiji Airways has two Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, as well as other aircraft types in its fleet that will be substituted for the 737 MAX.
CASA’s CEO and Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody, said that in light of the two recent fatal accidents, the temporary suspension of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft operations was in the best interests of safety.
“This is a temporary suspension while we wait for more information to review the safety risks of continued operations of the Boeing 737 MAX to and from Australia.” Mr Carmody said.
“CASA regrets any inconvenience to passengers but believes it is important to always put safety first.”
CASA is closely monitoring the situation and the suspension will be reviewed as relevant safety information becomes available from Boeing, the United States Federal Aviation Administration and accident investigators.