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Com Air grounds all Boeing 737 Max 8 planes

Com Air, a British Airways franchisee and operating Kulula.com made the decision on Tuesday 12 March 2019 to ground the Boeing 737 Max 8. This comes after of two fatal crashes involving the same model plane in 5 months, killing a total of 346 people.

On 29 October 2018, Lion Air Flight 610, crashed into the Java Sea 12 minutes after take-off, killing all 189 people on board. The flight was a scheduled domestic flight operated by the Indonesian airline Lion Air from Soekarno–Hatta International Airport in Jakarta to Depati Amir Airport in Pangkal Pinang. The flight data recorder was recovered and revealed that the day before the crash, pilots experienced problems with a new automatic safety system. They managed to land the plane safely on that occasion. The preliminary investigation into the crash revealed that the pilots of the doomed flight had the similar problems, causing the plane to crash into the Java Sea.

On Sunday 10 March 2019, 157 died when a Boeing 737 Max operated by Ethiopian Airlines, crashed 6 minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa. Moments before the crash, the pilot declared an emergency. There were no survivors. The behaviour of the aircraft was eerily similar to that of Lion Air Flight 610, which crashed on October 29, 2018. Data transmitted from the plane showed very erratic vertical speed as the crew struggled to control the plane.

According to reports, passengers on an earlier flight of the doomed plane said that they experienced a flight from hell as the plane was going up and down like a rollercoaster.

At least 22 airlines, including Ethiopian Air, Indonesia, China and Com Air decided to ground all Boeing 737 Max 8 planes, with immediate effect, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Early indications are that there were no South Africans on the plane at the time of the crash, despite the plane flying from South Africa to Addis Abbaba on the previous flight.

The victims of Ethiopian Air flight 302 came from 35 different countries, and included 19 United Nations staff members.
Kenya -- 32
Canada -- 18
Ethiopia -- 9
China -- 8
Italy -- 8
USA -- 8
France -- 7
UK -- 7
Egypt -- 6
Germany -- 5
India -- 4
Slovakia -- 4
Austria -- 3
Russia -- 3
Sweden -- 3
Israel -- 2
Morocco -- 2
Poland -- 2
Spain -- 2
Belgium -- 1
Djibouti -- 1
Indonesia -- 1
Ireland -- 1
Mozambique -- 1
Norway -- 1
Rwanda -- 1
Saudi Arabia-- 1
Sudan -- 1
Somalia -- 1
Serbia -- 1
Togo -- 1
Uganda -- 1
Yemen -- 1
Nepal -- 1
Nigeria -- 1


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