The Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Australia’s aviation safety body, has suspended all flights into and out of the country operated by Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
The suspension comes after 157 people aboard an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX were killed when the flight crashed shortly after takeoff on on Sunday morning, which followed another 737 MAX crash in late October last year, in which all 189 passengers and crew were killed.
In a statement, CASA said that no Australian airlines currently have any of the planes in use, but that two international carriers had 737 MAX routes to Australia. Of the two, SilkAir had already suspended flights with the aircraft, leaving Fiji Airways the only carrier affected.
CASA CEO and director of aviation safety Shane Carmody said that, in light of the two recent fatal crashes, the decision was in the best interests of safety:
This is a temporary suspension while we wait for more information to review the safety risks of continued operations of the Boeing 737 MAX to and from Australia. CASA regrets any inconvenience to passengers but believes it is important to always put safety first.
CASA says that the suspension will be reviewed as more information is released from Boeing, the FAA, and the investigation into the accident.