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More than a third of global 737 Max fleet grounded

More than 30% of the global fleet of Boeing 737 Max aircraft are now grounded due to safety concerns, following the crash of two almost brand new Max 8s less than five months apart.

Twenty-four operators of the type have together grounded 140 aircraft, either voluntarily or following orders by their country’s civil aviation regulator. China has the largest fleet of grounded Max aircraft at 97, with China Southern Airlines being the type’s second largest operator with 24 examples, just behind Southwest Airlines.

Cirium’s Fleets Analyzer shows that there are 385 Max aircraft that have been delivered globally, of which 14 were already in storage for other reasons. Of the 371 aircraft that were in-service, 344 are Max 8s, while 27 are the larger Max 9s.

After China, Latin America has the largest number of grounded aircraft with seven from Gol, six from Aeromexico and five from Aerolineas Argentina. Indonesia has also ordered the country’s airlines to stop flying the type, resulting in Lion Air having 10 Max 8s and Garuda Indonesia with one aircraft on the ground.

Singapore’s SilkAir became the latest carrier to ground the type following an order by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore. It has six Max 8s in its fleet. Besides preventing the country’s airlines from operating the type, the Singaporean regulator is also suspending operation of all variants of the Max into and out of Singapore from 14:00 local time on 12 March.

Ethiopian Airlines grounded its four remaining Max 8s after the crash of flight ET302 on 10 March. Cayman Airways, South African carrier Comair and MIAT Mongolian Airlines have meanwhile together grounded four aircraft.

The US Federal Aviation Administration has meanwhile said that it has not received enough evidence to warrant an order to ground the US fleet of Max aircraft. The type’s three largest operators – Southwest (34), Air Canada (24) and American Airlines (24) – have said they will continue flying the type.

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