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B737 Max planes banned from Korean airspace

Mar 16,2019
The Korean government has banned all Boeing 737 Max aircraft from flying in its airspace as security concerns over B737 Max 8s escalate globally.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport confirmed on Friday that it issued a Notice to Airmen (Notam) to alert pilots and airlines of its decision on Thursday.

A Notam is a notice filed to alert aviation authorities of potential dangers that could affect safe flight along a flight route. The notice is usually effective for three months. Under the notice, no airline can fly a B737 Max 8 or 9 in or out of Korean airspace.

Earlier this week, Eastar Jet, the only local airline to have B737 Max 8 planes in its fleet, announced they will not use the planes. Korean Air, which currently has a number of the planes on order, also said that it is reconsidering whether it is willing to receive them. The Transport Ministry said its latest measures were taken to ensure that no B737 Max aircraft passes through Korean airspace, whether it is being flown by a Korean airline or not.

As countries around the world, including the United States, ground the Boeing planes, the aircraft maker has paused deliveries of B737 Max planes, although it plans to continue production of the jet, Reuters reported Thursday.

Grounded planes and paused deliveries mean that Boeing’s bill for compensation is quickly growing. Norwegian Air, for instance, is asking the aircraft maker to compensate for revenues lost from the grounded planes.

Boeing also needs to consider customers cancelling orders and buying planes from other companies.

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]