March 24, 2019

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Ethiopian Airlines Crash Updates: Ethiopia to Send ‘Black Boxes’ Abroad for Analysis

Ethiopian Airlines Crash Updates: Ethiopia to Send ‘Black Boxes’ Abroad for Analysis
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Belying its name, Norwegian flies routes all over Europe and beyond. According to the airline’s website, flights to European destinations were running with moderate delays and a handful of cancellations.

In a message to passengers, the airline said that it had 18 Max 8 aircraft in its fleet of more than 160 planes.

In December, a technical error forced a Max 8 jet to land in Iran en route to Oslo from the United Arab Emirates. The jet was stranded at the Shiraz airport for months, apparently caught up in United States sanctions on Tehran’s nuclear program that prohibit civilian aircraft sales, including services and parts.

That jet returned to service but is now grounded, the airline said.

Nobody has grounded more Boeing 737 Max 8 jets than China. With its order on Monday that Chinese airlines idle their fleets of the beleaguered aircraft, 96 planes went out of commission.

How did that effect flying in China? Not a whole lot, even on the first day.

Chinese airline canceled 62 flights outright on Monday as a result of the grounding, according to VariFlight, an online tracking company. For another 288, it found substitute aircraft, while five flights were completed before the grounding took effect later on Monday.

That represents a minor ripple in what has become some of the busiest airspace in the world. According to Chinese safety regulators, last year an average of 15,000 flights took off every day. Chinese airlines represent 14 percent of global traffic, according to figures from Boeing, and could account for one-fifth in two decades’ time.

China has room for flexibility in other ways.

Flight delays are common in China, so airlines schedule fewer flights per day for each aircraft, leaving more available to potentially fill in. Air traffic controllers and the airlines themselves are highly cautious about allowing planes to fly in poor weather. The military controls most of China’s airspace and frequently closes large areas, resulting in more delays.



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