Rome, March 13 (IANS/AKI): Italy’s civil aviation authority is banning Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft from its airspace indefinitely from Tuesday night as a “precautionary” measure – a move already announced by eight other countries following the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash outside Addis Ababa.
“From 9 pm today (March 12), given the lack of certain information on the Ethiopian Airlines incident on Sunday that involved a Boing 737 Max 8 jet and the previous incident in October in Indonesia, as a precautionary measure, Enac has ordered the closure of Italian airspace to all commercial flights operating this type of aircraft,” it said.
“This model of aircraft can no longer fly to and from national airports until further notice,” Enac added.
The only Italian airline that uses the banned aircraft is Air Italy, which has three Boeing 737 Max 8 planes in its fleet, according to Enac.
Ethiopian Airlines are among 20 companies that have grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft following Sunday’s disaster in which all 157 passengers were killed.
Passengers from over 30 countries were on the doomed flight, including eight Italians.
Among the dead were 22 United Nations staff, many heading for an assembly of the UN Environment Programme in Nairobi.
The causes of the crash, which occurred six minutes after take-off, are not yet known.
A Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft operated by Lion Air crashed into the sea in Indonesia in October 13 minutes after take-off from Jakarta, killing all 189 people aboard the flight. A report on that disaster is pending.
The 737 Max 8 aircraft has only been in commercial use since 2017 and the planes involved in both crashes were just months old.