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SACAA welcomes Comair decision to remove Boeing 737 MAX from schedule

The company decided to ground its flights on Monday after an Ethiopian Airlines passenger jet bound for Nairobi crashed minutes after take-off on Sunday killing all passengers on board.

A Boeing 737 MAX airplane is pictured on the tarmac with its signature winglet and fuel efficient engines outside the company's factory on 11 March 2019 in Renton, Washington. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has welcomed a decision by Comair South Africa to temporarily remove its Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft from its flight schedule.

The company decided to ground its flights on Monday after an Ethiopian Airlines passenger jet bound for Nairobi crashed minutes after take-off on Sunday, killing all passengers on board.

The company said the decision to remove the plane was not required from the authority or the manufacturer

Last year, the same model flown by Lion Air crashed off the coast of Indonesia, killing all 189 on board.

Comair said it’s in consultation with other operators, Boeing and technical experts.

The SACAA has described Comair’s decision to ground the plane as commendable.

Spokesperson Kabelo Ledwaba said: “It is the type of decision that regulators such as the SACAA appreciates from an operator that puts the concerns, interests and safety of its passengers and crew first.”

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane has been flying British Airways passengers between Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban since last week.

Comair's counterparts in China, Ethiopia, Singapore and Indonesia have also grounded Boeing 737 Max 8 planes after following the fatal crash.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)