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Eastar Jet grounds its two Boeing 737 Max 8 planes

Mar 13,2019
Eastar Jet, one of Korea’s budget carriers, will voluntarily suspend operation of its two Boeing 737 Max 8s due to rising safety concerns, the company said Tuesday.

The low-cost carrier (LCC) said the planes will be grounded from Wednesday and said every effort will be made to minimize customer inconvenience.

The company is the only airline in the country that operates the jet made by U.S. aerospace giant Boeing. It plans to add four additional B737 Max 8s to its fleet this year.

The decision comes as the same plane operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed on Sunday, with another that flew with Indonesia’s Lion Air having crashed a few months ago in October 2018.

On Monday, the transport ministry sent a team of officials to Eastar Jet to conduct an emergency safety checkup on the pair of B737 Max 8s, but it didn’t issue a suspension order for the planes.

The plane is more fuel efficient compared to other planes in the B737 family of planes.

Local airlines such as Korean Air Lines, Jeju Air and T’way Air have also signed contracts to add the B737 Max 8 to their fleets in the coming years.