Flight Chaos As Europe Announces Max 737 Ban With Planes Mid-Air
Flights worldwide are being thrown into chaos as country after country bans Boeing 737 Max air crafts in the wake of the deadly Ethiopian Airlines flight.
Multiple flights were forced to turn around mid-flight, after the UK, Germany, Ireland, France, Austria, the Netherlands, Poland, Belgium, and finally the European Union banned all aircraft from landing or taking off.
At least two flights heading from Turkey to the UK were forced to turn around mid-flight, after the UK's aviation authority announced the ban Tuesday local time.
Flight data shows flights TK1997 and TK1969 turning around mid-flight, with one passenger telling CNN they were initiaully informed by the pilot it was due to "weather conditions"
"They didn't tell us straight away, but I could feel something was different," passenger Sara Tor told the network.
"And the map on the screens was showing we'd turned back."
Groundings are spreading across the world, with local aviation authorities and travel companies taking drastic action after Boeing didn't do so itself.
Boeing released a statement on Wednesday assuring the public it had "full confidence in the safety" of its craft.
"We understand that regulatory agencies and customers have made decisions that they believe are most appropriate for their home markets," it said.
"It is also important to note that the Federal Aviation Administration is not mandating any further action at this time, and based on the information currently available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators."
Operations have also been suspended in Singapore, China and the United Arab Emirates, while in the US and Canada continue to fly a number of 737 Max aircrafts while monitoring the situation closely.
In Australia, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority [CASA] has temporarily suspended the operation of Boeing 737 Max air crafts in or out of the country. Virgin Australia assuring customers it would not introduce new aircraft to its fleet unless "we are completely satisfied with its safety".
"There are currently no Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in our fleet," it said in a statement issued Wednesday morning.
"We are closely monitoring the situation and will continue to work with Boeing, CASA, and other relevant authorities as more information becomes available."
The first delivery of 737 Max 8 aircraft to Virgin is not due until November.
Ethiopian Airlines was the first to ground its 737 Max fleet, after a deadly crash on Sunday killed all 157 passengers and crew on board.
It was the second 737 Max to be involved in a deadly aviation disaster in five months, after a Lion Air flight crashed in Indonesia last October. All 149 passengers and crew were killed.
Investigators have located the Ethiopian Airlines black box, which will help piece together the plane's final minutes.
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Main image: Flightradar24