Europe’s safety regulator has ordered a suspension of operations of the Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency has issued an emergency directive in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines Max 8 crash on 10 March and the previous accident involving a Lion Air Max 8 last year.
“At this early stage of the [Ethiopian] investigation, it cannot be excluded that similar causes may have contributed to both events,” says EASA.
“EASA considers that further actions may be necessary to ensure the continued airworthiness of the two affected models.”
As a result, it says, it has “decided to suspend all flight operations” of the Max 8 and Max 9 as of 19:00UTC on 12 March.
It says the directive is an “interim action” and further measures are expected to follow.
EASA will allow operators to conduct a single, non-commercial ferry flight comprising up to three cycles to return aircraft to suitable maintenance locations.
Several civil aviation regulators had already implemented a suspension of 737 Max operations, while a number of airlines had opted to ground the type.