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Boeing 737 Max - Is It Safe To Travel? Research Team | Posted On Tuesday, March 12,2019, 05:09 PM

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Boeing 737 Max - Is It Safe To Travel?



What Is Boeing 737 Max?

Boeing 737 Max 8 is an American narrow body, 4th generation aircraft series, designed and produced by Boeing commercial planes. Boeing 737 Max succeeds the Boeing 737 Next Generation (NG).

The Boeing new 737 generation was launched in August 2011 and the first flight took off on 29th January 2016. The new series was certified by FAA in May 2017 to Malindo Air. The Boeing 737 Max 8 is designed on the basis of earlier designs of 737. Boeing 737 has been redesigned with a much more efficient CFM international LEAP-1B power plants, airframe modifications and aerodynamic improvements which includes distinctive split tip winglets.

The Boeing 737 Max 8 comes in four variants. The 737 Max series typically offers 138 to 230 seats with a range of 3,215 to 3,825 nmi. (Nautical Miles).

As of March 2019, two Boeing 737 Max 8 flights have suffered fatal crashes, which resulted in several airlines and regulatory authorities suspending the operations of Boeing 737 Max.

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SEE ALSO:  Boeing 737 Max

Boeing 737 Max - Is It Safe To Travel?

Flight ET 302, Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft of the Ethiopian airlines crashed on Sunday, 10th March 2019. The aircraft was heading to Nairobi, Kenya from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital city. This is the second crash of Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in the last five months. The flight ET 302 lost contact three minutes post take off and crashed near Bishoftu.

The pilot was experiencing technical problems and asked to return to the airport. The crash killed all 157 people on board including the crew. The cause of the crash is yet to be known. Four Indians are killed in the crash.

Sushma Swaraj, the Minister of External Affairs MEA, tweeted “@IndiaInEthiopia has informed me that the deceased Indian nationals are Vaidya Pannagesh Bhaskar, Vaidya Hansin Annagesh, Nukavarapu Manisha and Shikha Garg." She has asked for help to find the family of deceased Indians of the air crash.

The same model of the Boeing 737 was involved in the Lion Air crash, where a jet plunged into the Java Sea in Indonesia, soon after it took off, killing 189 people on board.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation in India, DGCA, announced on Tuesday that all Boeing 737 Max 8 aircrafts must be grounded immediately. This is applicable to all Indian airlines. This decision has been made citing the recent fatal crash of 737 Max 8 aircraft of Ethiopian airlines that killed 157 people on-board near Addis Ababa. Four Indians were killed in the crash.  

Spicejet has 12 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircrafts in operation and Jet Airways has five such aircraft in operation, all of which are grounded as of now. The DGCA called for a meeting with all Indian airlines operating Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft on Wednesday, as per an official from the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Flying of Boeing 737 Max 8 is banned in Indian airspace.

The Ministry tweeted “In continuation to the decision of DGCA to ground the Boeing 737 Max operations, further clarification follows.

Boeing 737 Max operations will stop from/to all Indian airports. Additionally no Boeing 737 Max aircraft will be allowed to enter or transit in Indian airspace effective 1600hrs IST or 1030 UTC.

The time line is to cater to situations where aircraft can be positioned at maintenance facilities and international flights can reach their destinations”.

Middle East countries of Lebanon and Egypt have grounded the 737 Max 8 aircraft following the crash near Addis Ababa. Hong Kong, a major hub for international flights, has ordered grounding of all Boeing 737 Max 8 aircrafts, effective from 6PM local time.

New Zealand, Kuwait, UAE, Japan, Indonesia, Members of the European Union, Australia, Malaysia, Brazil, Mexico and China have grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircrafts to ensure the safety of passengers.  

Which Airlines Are Still Flying Boeing 737 Max?

The question that was raised when Ethiopian airlines’ Boeing 737 Max crashed is ‘which airlines are still flying Boeing 737 Max?’

Below mentioned are the airlines that are still flying Boeing 737 Max:

  • American Airlines

The American Airlines has twenty four 737 Max 8 in operation and has no intention of grounding them at this point. The American Airlines expressed deep condolences to the families of those killed in the recent crash and said they would continue to monitor and follow the investigation of the recent crash.  American Airlines expressed full confidence in the aircraft and crew.

  • Southwest Airlines

The Southwest Airlines, an American carrier has thirty four 737 Max aircraft in fleet and has no plans in changing operational policies and procedures. The airlines expressed confidence over the safety of the aircraft.

  • Norwegian Airlines

Norwegian Airlines has eighteen 737 Max 8 aircraft. Norwegian Airlines said they will continue to operate Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, as per the statement released by Tomas Hesthammer, the director of flight operations, Norwegian Airlines.

Tomas Hesthammer said that Norwegian Airlines is in close touch with Boeing and would follow all recommendations. He added that “Our passengers' safety is and will always be our top priority”.

  • TUI

TUI Aviation has fifteen Boeing 737 Max aircraft in operation. The Airlines said they don’t want to speculate over the incident and are in close touch with the manufacturer. NUI plans to continue operating Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in a safe way, just like other planes in their network.

  • Fiji Airways

Fiji Airways has two 737 Max 8 aircraft in operation and has ordered three more. Fiji Airways said they have full confidence in the aircraft and would continue operating the aircraft.

  • Icelandair

Icelandair says it flies three Boeing 737 Max aircraft and has not seen any technical glitches in their operation so far. Icelandair has no plans of grounding the aircraft and said they would do everything to ensure the safety of passengers.

  • Flydubai

Flydubai flies eleven Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Flydubai has expressed confidence over the airworthiness of the aircraft. The airline said it would closely monitor the situation and be in touch with the manufacturer.

  • WestJet

Westjet has thirteen 737 Max 8 aircraft in its fleet. Westjet said they are monitoring the situation closely and would not speculate on the cause of the crash. Westjet said they remain fully confident on the safety of the aircraft.

  • GOL Linhas Aéreas

GOL Linhas Aéreas has seven 737 Max 8 aircraft in operation. The airlines said they would follow the investigations and maintain close contact with the manufacturer for clarifications. The company reiterated confidence in the aircraft.

Who Have Grounded Boeing 737 Max Aircraft?

Citing the issue of safety and airworthiness of Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, the below mentioned airlines have grounded Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft:

  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • China
  • Singapore
  • Indonesia
  • Aeromexico
  • Aerolíneas Argentinas
  • Cayman Airways
  • Comair Airways

Boeing 737 Max In India

Directorate General of Civil Aviation, DGCA, issued additional guidelines for operating Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft. Civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu met the officials of his Ministry to take stock of the situation. The DGCA said that grounding the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft is also a possible option citing two crashes in the last five months. Spicejet and Jet Airways have 18 aircraft in their fleet.

As of now, a decision has been made, not to ground the aircraft. The DGCA has issued additional guidelines to fly the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft. All airlines have been instructed not to fly Boeing 737 Max 8 if they don’t comply with the latest guidelines issued by the DGCA.

SEE ALSO:  Boeing 737 Max In India

Measures Taken By India After The Air Crash

DGCA on Monday issued additional guidelines as a measure for Indian operators, covering the areas of engineering, maintenance and flight operations. As per the latest guidelines, airlines must ensure that the captain operating the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft has a minimum of 1,000 hours experience and the co – pilot has 500 hours of experience on 737 Max 8 planes.

The engineering department has been instructed not to release Max 737 planes for operation in case of dual failure of autopilot and faults in spoiler system. DGCA said these are interim measures and have been communicated to Boeing and US federal aviation administration. (FAA)

Why You Should Opt For Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance is an insurance intended to cover medical expenses, trip cancellation, loss of luggage, air accidents and other losses while travelling both internationally and domestically.

Importance Of Travel Insurance If Such Incidents Happens?

By availing travel insurance, you are covering yourself against travel risks like lost luggage, cancellation of flights / trains / buses and medical emergencies both abroad and within India.

Medical expenses abroad are extremely high and can ruin your holiday. You would have saved for this dream holiday by sacrificing a lot of things and unfortunately you fall sick and need immediate medical attention. You end up spending on your medical expenses and are left with very little or no money for shopping. You can avoid this scenario by availing travel insurance. Travel insurance is not affected by the local currency of the country you are travelling to and takes care of the medical expenses.

Comprehensive travel insurance would cover the following:

  • Emergency medical expenses
  • Losses due to cancellation or having to cut short your trip
  • Death and permanent disability cover
  • Lost luggage

How To Make A Claim?

Some insurers settle claims quickly over a phone call. There are a few instances where you need to fill offline and online forms with relevant supporting documents. If you have more information supporting the claim, then it gets easier for the insurer to assess the claim which in turn facilitates faster processing and settling of the claim.

Most insurers allow you to submit claim forms online by uploading relevant supporting documents in the suitable format. If you are submitting your claim form offline through post or in person to the insurer, then retain a copy of the relevant documents submitted for future reference. If you are submitting the claim form through post or courier then, make sure that you send it through a special delivery for better documentation and records.

For medical claims, you must contact the insurer at the earliest using the emergency phone number and other contact details mentioned at the time of availing the travel insurance policy and follow the steps mentioned by the insurer. Remember to collect all bills and receipts; these are a must have documents to get the amount spent on medical expenses reimbursed by the insurer.

For delay claims, you must produce a documented confirmation of delay issued by the carrier or the tour operator. Ask your carrier or the tour operator to issue this document at the earliest to facilitate a quick and hassle free claim.

If you are claiming for a loss of valuable items due to theft, then you must lodge an official complaint with the local police, without which your claim will not be settled. Make sure you collect contact details of officials that you reach out to report the loss of your valuable items.

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