India grounded all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on Wednesday evening, affecting hundreds in airports, but the US aviation regulator questioned the global grounding of the fleet after an Ethiopian Airlines crash.
“No B737 Max aircraft will be allowed to enter or transit the Indian airspace effective 1600 hours,” the Ministry of Civil Aviation tweeted.
The Ministry said these aircraft will stop flying from and to all Indian airports. “Additionally, no B737 MAX aircraft will be allowed to enter or transit the Indian airspace effective 1600 hours Indian time.”
The directive came close on the heels of a global grounding of the Boeing fleet following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines’ Boeing 737-800 MAX flight on Sunday killing all 157 people on board.
India joined the UK, Singapore, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Australia and the EU nations in the grounding.
On Tuesday, the US aviation regulator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that no systematic performance issues have been found with the Boeing 737-MAX aircraft to justify the global grounding.
“The FAA continues to review extensively all available data and aggregate safety performance from operators and pilots of the Boeing 737 MAX. Thus far, our review shows no systematic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft,” the regulator said.
In India, SpiceJet and Jet Airways operate 17 Boeing 737-800 MAX aircraft — Spice (12) and Jet (5).
Both grounded all their Boeing aircraft in this variety.
SpiceJet announced cancellation of 14 flights.
“Of the 76 planes in our fleet, 64 aircraft are in operation and we are confident of minimizing the inconvenience to our passengers and attain normalcy in our operations,” the airline said.