Wednesday 20 March, 2019

Cayman Airways suspends Max 8 operations after deadly plane crash

Family members of the victims involved in the plane crash react at Addis Ababa International Airport onSunday. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

Family members of the victims involved in the plane crash react at Addis Ababa International Airport onSunday. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

Cayman Airways has suspended operations of both its new Boeing 737 Max 8 planes in the wake of the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash in which all 157 passengers and crew on board lost their lives.

Extending his sympathies to the families of all the tragic victims, Cayman Airways President and CEO, Fabian Whorms said: "While the cause of this sad loss is undetermined at this time, we stand by our commitment to putting the safety of our passengers and crew first by maintaining complete and undoubtable safe operations, and as such, we have taken the decision to suspend operations of both our new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, effective from Monday March 11, 2019, until more information is received."

Mr Whorms said Cayman Airways is currently working in coordination with both the Boeing Corporation and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAACI) to monitor the investigation into Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.

He added: "We offer our valued customers our continued assurance that all prudent and necessary actions required for the safe operation of our Max 8's will be accomplished before the aircraft are returned to service.

"We appreciate the understanding and support of our customers as we implement these changes, and apologize in advance for any inconveniences that may be caused."

Mr Whorms explained that some relatively minor, but necessary, schedule and capacity changes will be needed over the next few days to manage the flight schedule in instances where the national airline may be short on available aircraft

The Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed shortly after takeoff from Ethiopia's capital on Sunday morning, killing all 157 people thought to be on board. It was headed for Nairobi.

It was not immediately clear what caused the crash of the Boeing 737-8 MAX plane, which was new and had been delivered to the airline in November, records show.

The state-owned Ethiopian Airlines, widely considered the best-managed airline in Africa, calls itself Africa's largest carrier and has ambitions of becoming the gateway to the continent

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