Germany, U.K. close airspace to Boeing 737 Max 8


Germany and the U.K. have closed their airspace to Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft following the Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday.

Germany's transport ministry confirmed to news agency dpa on Tuesday comments made by transport minister Andreas Scheuer to n-tv television.

The broadcaster quoted Scheuer on its website as saying safety is the priority, and "until all doubts are cleared up, I have ordered that German airspace be closed for the Boeing 737 Max with immediate effect."

British regulators also have grounded Boeing 737 Max aircraft. The UK Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement Tuesday that though it had been monitoring the situation, it had as a precautionary measure "issued instructions to stop any commercial passenger flights from any operator arriving, departing or overflying U.K. airspace."

Some five 737 Max aircraft are registered and operational in the United Kingdom, while a sixth had planned to commence operations later this week.

Several countries have now grounded the planes.

Norwegian Air Shuttle says it has grounded its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft on recommendation from European aviation authorities after Sunday's Ethiopian Airlines crash.

The Norwegian carrier has 18 of the planes.

Tomas Hesthammer, the low-cost carrier's acting chief operating officer, says that "the safety and security of our customers and colleagues will never be compromised, and once authorities advise to cease operations we will of course comply."

Experts are chasing details on why the Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 plane crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 157 on board. Answers could take months.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI