Relatives of the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash visit the site of the crash at Hama Quntushele village, Ethiopia on March 13, 2019. Photo: Tony Karumba/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iraq has joined the growing list of nations to ban the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from its airspace.
The Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) has banned Boeing MAX 737 aircraft from Iraqi airspace, citing “technical and international restrictions,” it announced on Wednesday evening. The decision was made under the direction of ICAA’s air safety department.
Countries and airlines around the world are grounding the Boeing 737 MAX planes because of safety concerns after two deadly crashes in the last five months. An Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday killed 157 people from 35 countries. In October, 189 people were killed in a Lion Air crash in Indonesia.
American pilots had reported issues with the plane in late 2018. The United States has not yet banned the planes.
The heads of both Erbil and Sulaimani airports told Rudaw they had not received official notification of the ban from ICAA.
At least three airlines that fly into Kurdistan Region’s two airports are known to have ordered the Boeing 737 MAX planes – Turkish Airlines, Fly Dubai, and Qatar Airways.
Turkish Airlines and Fly Dubai have both announced they are grounding their fleets of the planes.