In Brief

Singapore bars Boeing 737 Max planes amid safety fears

Sunday's Ethiopian Airlines crash was second involving model in five months

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Singapore's Civil Aviation Authority has suspended all Boeing 737 Max models from flying into and out of the country after an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing Max 8 crashed on Sunday - the second fatal accident involving that model in less than five months.

Several airlines and regulators have grounded Boeing 737 Max planes in response to concerns. One of Brazil’s biggest airlines, GOL, grounded its seven aircraft and Aeromexico suspended the use of its six planes. Earlier, China, Indonesia, the Cayman Airways and African carrier Comair had made similar moves.

Aviation expert Mary Schiavo told The Mirror: “It’s highly suspicious... a brand-new aircraft that’s gone down twice in a year. That rings alarm bells because that just doesn’t happen.”

However, several airlines serving UK airports, including TUI and Norwegian, are continuing to fly the planes. The US Federal Aviation Administration said that it considered the jet “airworthy” but that it wanted the company to submit “design changes” by next month.

Boeing says it has been developing a flight control software enhancement since the Lion Air Flight 610 disaster last year, when the airliner crashed into the sea off Indonesia, killing all 189 on board. The carrier said the update would make “an already safe aircraft even safer”.

At least nine Britons are among the 157 passengers and crew who died when Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 crashed on Sunday. Eye-witnesses have described seeing smoke billowing out of the rear of the plane and a loud noise before it hit the ground.

Families of the 189 passengers killed in the Indonesian crash are suing Boeing for allegedly designing a flawed flight control system and failing to inform pilots of its existence.

Shares in Boeing sank 5% on Wall Street as aviation experts speculated that the cause of the two recent crashes were the same. The Ethiopian Airlines plane hit the ground six minutes after take-off after struggling to gain height. 

The Times says the “erratic climb” resembled that of the Lion Air jet as crew failed to override the automatic system and regain control.

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