Airlines Are No Longer Ordering Boeing 737 Max 8

Published on April 11, 2019

In the wake of two deadly crashes involving the Boeing 737 Max 8 plane in the last year, airlines are weary to order the plane because of all of the negative press associated with it. Most airlines pulled the 737 Max 8 passenger plane from circulation as soon as the news of a second plane crash involving the plane came to light back in March. Boeing, and the FAA, were worried that there was an issue with the plane that was causing the crashes after investigators had a hard time diagnosing an issue with the first crash when it happened last October.

The First Crash

Lion Air flight JT 610 didn’t stand a chance as it took off from Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on the morning of October 29. The plane was in the air for only 13 minutes before it came crashing down into the waters of the Java Sea on its way to Pangkal Pinang, killing all 189 onboard. The search for the aircraft’s black box began soon after, as authorities began to question what happened.

This wasn’t the first crash that the airline has been involved in. In 2013 a Lion Air flight crashed during its landing at Bali’s Denpasar International Airport. In that situation the pilot was at fault for miscalculating the landing, hitting the water before the tarmac began. There were no deaths in that crash, but the October 29 crash saw no survivors.


Just a month ago, Ethiopian Airlines flight took off from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport in Ethiopia to Nairobi, Kenya on the morning of March 10. Shortly after takeoff, the plane came crashing down, killing all 157 people onboard. The patterns of the flight crash echoed the crash that had happened just months prior in Southeast Asia. This time, it became clear that the Boeing 737 Max 8 was to blame.

The aircraft carrier quickly began testing possible issues that could have happened with both planes. The 737 Max 8 plane began circulation back in early 2018. Airlines were weary to ground their fleets of Max 8’s before there was any official news about their safety issues. Nevertheless, Boeing found that there were some major issues in the software that helped the plane takeoff, explaining the issues with its ability to do so successfully on two accounts.

What Now?

Today, most of the world’s 737 Max 8 planes have been grounded. China was one of the first governments to intervene. The decision alludes to China’s zero tolerance policy for safety hazards in aircraft equipment. Boeing has credited the plane’s issues with landing in high altitude airports. The aircraft maker cited high altitude/hot airports as a safety hazard for certain planes because of their need for different speeds. Higher altitude airports also mean that planes need different landing strip distances to safely land.

Sitting at just over a mile high, Ethiopia’s airport falls into the category of airports that Boeing claims the Max 8 is not suited for. Because of this, most airlines are weary to order the plane at all. Airlines have completely stopped ordering the plane and will, instead, focus their efforts elsewhere. Now their customers can be at ease over the issue.


Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

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