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China on Monday also ordered its airlines to suspend operations of
their 737 MAX 8 jets by 6 p.m. (1000 GMT) following the second crash
of a Boeing 737 MAX jet since one run by Indonesia's Lion Air went
down in October 2018. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC)
said it would notify airlines when they could resume flying the jets, after
contacting Boeing and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
"Given that two accidents both involved newly delivered Boeing 737-8 planes and happened during take-off phase, they have some degree of similarity," the CAAC said, adding the step was in line with its principle of zero tolerance of safety hazards. The 737 MAX 8 is sometimes referred to as the 737-8.
Indonesia also said it would temporarily ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft for inspection. In October, a 737 MAX 8 operated by budget carrier Lion Air crashed 13 minutes after take-off from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta on a domestic flight, killing all 189 on board. Cayman Airways sad it had grounded both of its new 737 MAX 8 jets temporarily too, while India announced a safety review. A senior U.S. official said it was too early to tell if there was any direct connection between the two accidents but assessing that was a priority for investigators.
By January-end, Boeing had delivered 350 of the 737 MAX family jets to customers, with 4,661 more on order. Boeing shares slid almost 10 percent in early trading on Monday. The move, if maintained through normal trading hours, would be the biggest fall in Boeing's stock in nearly two decades, halting a surge that has seen it triple in value in just over three years to a record high of $446 last week.
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