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Oman suspends Boeing 737 MAX flights to and from its airports

Oman on Tuesday suspended takeoffs and landings by Boeing 737 MAX planes at its airports, making it the latest country to do so after a deadly crash in Ethiopia.

The Public Authority for Civil Aviation “is temporarily suspending operations of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into and out of all Omani airports until further notice,” it said in a statement on Twitter.

The sultanate is the first Gulf country to suspend flights by the aircraft following Sunday’s crash. Oman’s national carrier, Oman Air, has five Boeing MAX aircraft in its fleet.

On Tuesday, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia also barred Boeing 737 MAX planes from their airspace, following South Korea, Singapore, China and Indonesia while airlines around the world have grounded the jets.

The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said it is closely monitoring the situation and would take “any necessary safety action in a timely manner”.

It added in a statement carried by news agency WAM that it has joined the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Boeing to investigate and collect data aimed at solving the reason behind the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

“The GCAA will not be reluctant to ground the UAE registered Boeing 737 Max fleet, if required, to ensure the highest standards of aviation safety is achieved,” it added.

On Sunday, a new Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 went down minutes into a flight to Nairobi, killing all 157 people on board.

The crash came after a Lion Air jet of the same model went down in Indonesia in October, killing 189.

* With AFP

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