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Norwegian 737 MAX pictured in Dublin (photo: Norwegian)

Norwegian grounds its 18 737 MAX planes

Meanwhile, the UK, France and Germany have joined other countries in banning the MAX 8 from their airspace.

Following recommendations from the European aviation authorities, Norwegian has decided to ground, for now, all 18 of its Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

The decision by the airline to take the planes out of service comes after the aircraft type was involved in two crashes in the last five months.

“In response to the temporary suspension of Boeing 737 MAX operations by multiple aviation authorities, we have taken the decision to not operate flights using this aircraft type until advised otherwise by the relevant aviation authorities,” Tomas Hesthammer, the carrier’s acting chief operating officer, said.

“We would like to apologise to customers for any inconvenience caused, however safety will always remain our top priority.”

Norwegian says that the company is working on reallocating the aircraft fleet in order to minimise the consequences of taking 18 aircraft out of service.

It also stresses that its Boeing 737-800 aircraft and its Boeing 787 Dreamliners are not affected by issues related to the MAX 8 and are still flying.

UK joins in
Meanwhile, the UK took the step of banning Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft from its airspace. France, Germany, Ireland and others made the same decision.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency has also published an Airworthiness Directive “suspending all flight operations of all Boeing 737-8 MAX and 737-9 MAX” planes in Europe.

The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement that it took the step “as a precautionary measure”, adding that it did not currently have “sufficient information” from the flight data recorder about the fatal crash.

One Turkish Airlines MAX 8 on its way to Birmingham in the UK was forced to turn around and return to Istanbul, the BBC reports.

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Airlines ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 after crash

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