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Wednesday, 13 March, 2019, 13 : 00 PM [IST]

Boeing 737 MAX to be grounded fully by 1600 hours today: DGCA officials

India said that the Boeing 737 MAX, being operated by SpiceJet will finally be grounded by 16:00 hours today and also barred any Boeing 737 MAX from entering the country, said senior officials in the aviation regulator. “In continuation to the decision of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to ground the B737 Max operations, further clarification follows. B737Max operations will stop from/to all Indian airports. 

Additionally no B737 Max aircraft will be allowed to enter or transit the Indian airspace effective 16:00 hours. Indian time or 10:30 UTC. The time line is to cater to situations where aircraft can be positioned at maintenance facilities and international flights can reach their destinations,” said a statement from DGCA. 

A senior DGCA official clarified that the European regulators might have informed airlines much before announcing the grounding of aircraft. “That is the reason why airlines in Europe were able to ground the aircraft immediately,” said the official. 

Late night on March 12, India banned operations of Boeing 737 MAX plane after this week’s crash of this aircraft type in the African skies, increasing the likelihood of a further surge in domestic fares that remain high due to unrelated flight cancellations by some carriers.

The ban came a day after the DGCA had allowed the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to fly under stricter conditions. The ban would impact SpiceJet the most. SpiceJet and troubled Jet Airways  are the only two airlines operating the Boeing 737 MAX in the country. Grounding of 12 such aircraft operated by the local carriers could disrupt the operations and increase domestic fares that are already high due to flight cancellations by Jet Airways and IndiGo. Five aircraft of Jet Airways were grounded due to non-payment of dues to lessors.

(Source: Economic Times)

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