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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Boeing Jets Under Intense Scrutiny After China Crash

Following an aircraft tragedy in China, India’s aviation authority has placed the country’s Boeing 737 planes under “increased observation.”

It has dispatched teams to “examine flying protocols, airworthiness, and operations,” according to the statement.

A China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 plane crashed in southern China on Monday, killing all 132 persons on board.

Rescue crews are on the scene, but the reason of the event is still unknown.

The plane had been flying from Kunming to Guangzhou when it crashed and caught fire. All of China Eastern Airlines’ 737-800s have been grounded.

“Flight safety is a major matter, and we are actively monitoring the issue,” said Arun Kumar, director general of the Indian Civil Aviation Authority.

“In the meanwhile, we’re concentrating on enhancing our 737 fleet’s surveillance.” Boeing 737 aircraft are in the fleets of SpiceJet, Vistara, and Air India Express in India.

News outlets have sought feedback from regulators in the United States, Europe, and China.

Boeing, a US aircraft manufacturer, said it was aiding Chinese investigators and engaging with the US National Transportation Safety Board.

“Since the accident, we’ve been in constant touch with our customer and regulatory authorities, and we’ve provided the full assistance of our technical specialists to the inquiry headed by the Civil Aviation Administration of China,” said Boeing CEO David Calhoun.

“Everything we can to help our customer and the accident inquiry at this difficult time, guided by our commitment to safety, openness, and honesty at every stage,” he said.

According to aviation analytics firm Cirium, there are 4,208 Boeing 737-800 passenger planes in operation, with almost a quarter of them stationed in China.

The Boeing 737-800, which initially flew in the late 1990s, has an excellent safety record. The jet that crashed on Monday was less than seven years old.

Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the jet to crash in a forested region of the Guangxi hills, and they’ll be looking for information from the plane’s “black box” flight recorders.

Boeing has been working to recover from two deadly incidents involving its 737 MAX airplane, in which 346 passengers and crew members perished.

“Given Boeing’s concerns with the 737 MAX, there’s a risk that consumers won’t want to fly on a 737 until the reason of the China Eastern tragedy is found not to be a design or manufacturing issue,” said Cai von Rumohr, an analyst at investment bank Cowen.

“As a result, determining the reason of the crash will be crucial.”

In New York on Monday, Boeing’s stock dropped 3.5 percent.

People seeking information about persons on board China Eastern Airlines should call a hotline set up by the airline. “Its heartfelt condolences to the passengers and crew members who perished,” it said. On Tuesday, the company’s stock dropped by more than 6% in Shanghai.

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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