South Korea Inspects Boeing 737 Max Planes After Ethiopian Crash

(Bloomberg) -- South Korea is carrying out a special inspection of Boeing Co. 737 Max 8 aircraft after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane of the same model on Sunday that killed all 157 people on board.

Authorities have been working with Eastar Jet Co. to ensure the safety of the two 737 Max 8 planes the budget carrier operates, a spokesman for Eastar said Monday. The company is currently the only airline in South Korea that flies the aircraft and plans to add four more to its fleet this year.

China grounded all of its domestic airlines’ 737 Max 8 aircraft after the Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed minutes after takeoff. The accident comes after 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.

Eastar is closely monitoring the situation, while more airlines in South Korea are set to add the plane to their fleets. Korean Air Lines Co., the country’s biggest carrier, will receive late next month the first of 30 narrow-body 737 Max planes it ordered. Jeju Air Co., the country’s largest budget carrier, ordered 40 of the jets in November.

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