Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha on Wednesday said that the services of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will be resumed only after safety modifications. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had last night ordered grounding all Boeing 737 Max planes in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash on Sunday.
"After discussions with the airlines, regulators and aircraft manufacturers. we decided last night that these planes should be grounded. Their services will be resumed only after safety modifications are done in the aircraft. All these flights have been cancelled," the minister said. Asked about passenger inconvenience after the operation of the planes were cancelled, Sinha said, "The officials are meeting with the airlines to avoid inconvenience to passengers. We are taking all measures to see that there should not be any passenger inconvenience."
Following the DGCA order, SpiceJet and Jet Airways - the two airlines operating the MAX fleet in India - cancelled around 20 flights. A total of 17 MAX aircraft operate in India, out of which 12 belong to SpiceJet and 5 to Jet Airways. All 157 on board the Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines plane were killed after the Boeing 737 MAX 8 flight crashed shortly after taking off from Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa.
The fuel-efficient 737 MAX is the fastest-selling plane in Boeing's history. The plane-maker has accumulated nearly 4,700 orders from more than 100 customers worldwide. Meanwhile, an emergency meeting of Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola with airlines is underway.