Groundings of brand-new Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets have sent shockwaves through global aviation after a crash in Ethiopia, but many airlines are managing to keep to schedule with other jets while economic woes mean some may be grateful for a pause.
The 737 Max 8 upgrade to Boeing’s best-selling jet only entered service in 2017, meaning there are not many in the skies compared with other more established work horses.
“If you had a grounding of something like the 737-800, wow what an impact. But with the MAX, there are fewer than 400 of these flying globally,” one aviation analyst said, adding that most airlines could “backfill most of the capacity”.
The Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people on Sunday was the second 737 MAX crash in less than six months, with 189 others killed when a Lion Air jet went down in Indonesia in October.