Indonesia Grounds Boeing 737 Max Jets After Deadly Crash

(Bloomberg) -- Indonesia’s transport ministry ordered local airlines to temporarily ground Boeing 737 Max jets operated by them after an Ethiopian Airlines plane of the same model crashed in Africa on Sunday.

The Boeing Max jets should be grounded from Tuesday to ensure the airworthiness of the aircraft, the ministry said in a statement in Jakarta on Monday. Indonesia will begin inspection of the grounded jets from Tuesday and they can be returned to service only after certified by flight inspectors, Polana B. Pramesti, director general of civil aviation, said in the statement.

Ten of the 11 grounded jets belonged to PT Lion Mentari Airlines, the ministry said, while the remaining one was operated by flag carrier PT Garuda Indonesia.

The disaster in Ethiopia followed the crash of a Lion Air 737 Max into the Java Sea off the coast of Indonesia on Oct. 29. A preliminary report into that disaster, which killed 189 passengers and crew, indicated that pilots struggled to maintain control following an equipment malfunction.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation will continue to coordinate with the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority and Boeing on further steps needed to ensure airworthiness of the Max jets, the transport ministry said.

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