SINGAPORE: SilkAir - the regional arm of Singapore Airlines (SIA) - said on Monday (Mar 11) that its Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes are operating as scheduled, even as it is "closely monitoring developments" following the Ethiopian Airlines crash.
The Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302, a Boeing 737 Max 8, crashed minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board.
It was the second crash of the 737 MAX 8, the latest version of Boeing's workhorse narrowbody jet that first entered service in 2017.
“We are saddened by the loss of flight ET302 and our hearts go out to those affected. We are in contact with Boeing and are closely monitoring developments," an SIA spokesperson said in response to Channel NewsAsia's queries.
"The safety of our passengers and crew is of utmost importance to SilkAir. At this point SilkAir’s 737 MAX 8 flights are operating as scheduled."
SilkAir currently has six Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes in its fleet, with another 31 on firm order.
Those planes currently fly to Bengaluru, Cairns, Chongqing, Darwin, Hiroshima, Hyderabad, Kathmandu, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Phnom Penh, Phuket and Wuhan, said SIA.
The Boeing 737 MAX 8 was already under the spotlight over safety concerns, following the Lion Air crash last October that killed all 189 people on board just 13 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta.
Following Sunday's crash, China's aviation regulator has ordered Chinese airlines to suspend their Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft operations by 6pm.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China said in a statement it would notify airlines as to when they could resume flying the jets after contacting Boeing and the US Federal Aviation Administration to ensure flight safety.