SINGAPORE: Singapore's aviation regulator has ordered the temporary suspension of all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into and out of the country, it said on Tuesday (Mar 12).
"The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) is temporarily suspending operation of all variants of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into and out of Singapore in light of two fatal accidents involving Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in less than five months," it said in a statement.
The suspension will take effect from 2pm on Tuesday, the regulator said. SilkAir, which operates six Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, will be affected by this suspension. SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, said the grounding of 737 MAX planes will impact its flight schedules.
Singapore's announcement comes after an Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday involving a Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet that killed 157 people. A Lion Air 737 MAX 8 crashed in Indonesia in October last year, killing 189 people.
Other airlines operating Boeing 737 Max aircraft to Singapore are China Southern Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Shandong Airlines and Thai Lion Air, CAAS said, adding that it is working with Changi Airport and the affected airlines to minimise the impact to passengers.
"During the temporary suspension, CAAS will gather more information and review the safety risk associated with the continued operation of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into and out of Singapore," it said.
"CAAS is closely monitoring the situation and is in close communication with the US Federal Aviation Administration and other aviation regulators, as well as Boeing."
The suspension will be reviewed as "relevant safety information becomes available", it added.
The authority also said that it has been in regular contact with SilkAir on its 737 MAX operations since last year and is "satisfied that it has been taking appropriate measures to comply with the necessary safety requirements".