NIGERIA has joined the growing list of countries that have banned the Boeing 737 Max airplanes from its airspace.
This is following a fatal crash in Ethiopia over the weekend, in which 157 people were killed, including two Nigerian citizens.
The two Nigerians that lost their lives in the plane crash include Pius Adesanmi, a Nigerian-Canadian professor, and Abiodun Bashua, a former ambassador.
It was the second crash involving the same aeroplane model in less than six months. The first was a Lion Air plane crashed in Indonesia in October 2018, killing 189 people.
Hadi Sirika, Nigeria’s Minister of State, Aviation, told State House correspondents after Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, that there was no cause for alarm as no airline in Nigeria at the moment using the Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aeroplanes.
Sirika’s reassurance is coming on the heels of an earlier directive by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to the effect that no airline should fly into Nigeria or out of Nigeria using Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9, pending the determination of the actual cause of the crash in Ethiopia.
“Regardless of the enormous safety records of this plane 737, it has caused concern in the world of aviation and you know aviation is universal, whatever affects one affects the other because aircraft will be flying in and out,” the agency stated.
“So, we have issued a directive that no operator with Boeing 737 Max 8 or Max 9 should operate into and outside our airports and this is being carried out.”
Countries that have banned the Boeing 737 Max aircraft from their airspaces include The United Kingdom, China, India, Singapore, Australia, Turkey, France, Germany, Ireland, South Korea, and Indonesia. Others are Mongolia, Malaysia, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates.
Similarly, the following airline operators have also grounded their Boeing 737 Max aircraft, Ethiopian Airlines, Norwegian Air, Comair, Gol Linhas Aereas, AeroMexico, Aerolineas Argentinas, and Cayman Airways.
Meanwhile, the United States and Canada have refused to ban the aircraft from its airspace, and the countries airlines have continued to operate the airplane model.
According to the CNN, the following airlines continue to operate their Boeing 737 Max airplanes: American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Flydubai, and Westjet.
The international broadcaster also reports that pilots in the US had formally complained at least five times about the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.
“The complaints are part of a federal database to which pilots can anonymously send complaints. The identity and airlines of the pilots are unclear,” the report read.