Staff Correspondent: The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh has deferred the import of Boeing 737 Max-8 for the time being.
The authority has adopted the preventive measure following the fatal crashes of two 737 Max-8 planes in five months.
No airlines in Bangladesh have the modern plane in their fleet as of now, but only US-Bangla Airlines signed a recent contract to rent a 737 Max-8 and operate flights.
The airlines in Bangladesh will not be allowed to buy or take lease of that model until the probe reports on the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes are published, said CAAB.
“No aircraft of Boeing 737 Max-8 can be imported until further announcement,” CAAB Director Chowdhury M Ziaul Kabir told yesterday.
In a press briefing on Feb 19, the US-Bangla Airlines announced a plan to bring a Boeing 737 Max-8 aircraft for the first time in the country.
The airline will rent a Boeing 737 Max-8 aircraft for 12 years through the leasing company AerCap, they said at the briefing without setting any deadline. The company has no plan to scrap the deal as of now, Kamrul Islam, public relations officer of the US-Bangla Airlines told.
“There have been two incidents and the probe is taking place. We’ll make our decisions after the probe report is published.”
US-Bangla has signed a deal with AerCap to bring in one aircraft, said Kamrul adding Boeing has at least 5,000 aircraft already ordered by different countries. The authorities have deferred the deal but never scrapped, said Kamrul.
The Max is the latest model of the successful 737 series by the US company Boeing. The model has been used for operating commercial flights since 2017.
The aircraft model faced its first fatal crash before completing the second year when a Boeing 737 Max operated by the Lion Air crashed into Java sea near Jakarta on Oct 29 killing all of the 189 passengers on board.
It created a global concern when an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed, killing all of its 157 passengers on Mar 10.
It is yet to be confirmed if there is same reason behind the crashes, but both aircraft were new and crashed within a while after taking off.
China, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, South Korea, the UK and India have decided to refrain from flying Boeing 737 Max-8.