The world is mourning the deaths of 157 individuals from 30 countries after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight bound to Nairobi. The plane’s accident shortly after takeoff immediately brought to mind similitudes with a crash on Oct. 29, 2018, when another Boeing 737 MAX 8 flown by Lion Air fell on the coasts of Indonesia taking the lives of 189 individuals. The accidents are rising doubts across the world regarding the safety of Boeing’s fastest selling aircraft and worrying passengers, airlines, pilots, flight attendants and governments alike. Pending information on the causes of the crash, countries across the globe have grounded their 737 MAX 8 fleets, dealing a heavy blow to one of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers.
In case you missed it, here’s what made the headlines over the week:
Tragedy struck on Sunday as an Ethiopian Airlines’ Boeing 737 MAX 8 flying from Addis Ababa to Nairobi crashed taking the lives of 157 people.
The airplane was the second Boeing 737 MAX 8 to crash shortly after takeoff in five months, after a similar plane flown by Lion Air crashed in the shores of Indonesia killing 189 people.
Similarities between the two accidents led countries and airlines worldwide to ground their 737 MAX 8s. Aeroméxico is the only airline in Mexico that uses six Boeing 737 MAX 8. The airline grounded the planes on Tuesday.
While Boeing and the US’ FAA claimed that the grounding was unnecessary, satellite data showing similarities in the flight patterns of Ethiopian Airlines’ and Lion Air’s aricraft led them to join other countries in grounding the plane.
While the investigation on the causes of Sunday’s crash may take over a year, experts across the globe are looking at Boeing’s automated anti-stall system. This software, which automatically pulls the plane’s nose down to prevent it from stalling, was implicated in the Lion Air crash.
Boeing announced a software update to fix this problem, which will be launched in less than a month.
Boeing’s shares took a hit from the grounding of its fastest selling aircraft, losing US$25 billion in market value. All 371 operational Boeing 737 MAX 8 are grounded across the globe and are expected to remain so for weeks to come. The OEM has almost 5,000 pending orders for that same aircraft though no cancellations have been reported to date.