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Crash jet model not flying here yet

Tuesday March 12, 2019 Written by Published in Local

Cook Islands Airport Authority has confirmed Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 model of aircraft, like the one that crashed in Ethiopia over the weekend, is not operating in or out of Rarotonga.


And authority chief executive officer Joseph Ngamata said it was too early to put in measures to prevent these aircraft from operating here in the near future.

Ngamata indicated any such measures may eventuate if the findings from the investigation into the latest crash are similar to an incident in October last year where a similar aircraft crashed.

“Currently we have no Boeing 737 MAX 8 operating into Rarotonga. I think only Fiji Airways have them now in our part of the world, but they seem to be operating okay,” Ngamata said.

“It is not known at this point what the cause of the accident was and whether these are related to the other accidents of the same aircraft.

“For the time being it’s premature for us to put in place measures to prevent these aircraft from operating into our airport.”

An Ethiopian Airlines plane en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Kenya, crashed six minutes after take-off on Saturday night. The crash killed all 157 people on board.

In October last year, Indonesian low-cost airline Lion Air lost a 737 MAX 8 when it crashed into the Java Sea 12 minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 people on board.

Boeing then issued a warning to all operators of the 737 MAX series to avoid causing an abrupt dive similar to the Lion Air flight.

Indonesian investigators in November last year said the Lion Air jet was not airworthy before the crash.

Following the latest crash, China, Indonesia and Ethiopia have ordered their airlines flying 737 MAX 8 aircrafts to ground the jets.

However according to BBC, the United States Federal Aviation Administration has told airlines it believes Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 model to be airworthy.

“Shares in Boeing fell by 12.9 per cent on Monday in the wake of the crash.”

Other airlines such as the Fiji Airways, which received the first of the five 737 MAX 8 in December last year, continue to operate the aircraft after Boeing said it was safe.