EASA: Suspend 737 MAX operations, FAA: No basis for it

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Washington - The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) orders European airlines to suspend all 737 MAX operations while the U.S. Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) says no need.

On March 12, EASA has issued an emergency directive ordering the European Airlines to suspend all Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 operations after two fatal accidents at short intervals.

“At this early stage of the Ethiopian investigation, it cannot be excluded that similar causes may have contributed to both events. EASA considers that further actions may be necessary to ensure the continued airworthiness of the two affected models,” said the agency in a statement.

The agency also added that it was an “interim action” and further measures are expected to follow.

The directive excludes non-commercial ferry flights up to three cycles for maintenance purposes.

Apart from EASA, many civil aviation authorities around the world already imposed flight ban for the Boeing 737 MAX.

On the other hand, The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that it has seen no basis for suspending operations of the Boeing 737 MAX.

"The FAA continues to review extensively all available data and aggregate safety performance from operators and pilots of the Boeing 737 Max. Thus far, our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft," the agency said.

The FAA also said other civil aviation authorities provided no data to the agency that would justify their flight ban decisions.

"In the course of our urgent review of data on the Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crash, if any issues affecting the continued airworthiness of the aircraft are identified, the FAA will take immediate and appropriate action," the U.S regulator added.

The US airlines operate the second largest Boeing 737 MAX fleet after Chinese airlines. The Chinese aviation authority ordered local airlines to ground the aircraft on March 11.