India not grounding Boeing 737 Max aircraft as DGCA issues fresh guidelines

India not grounding Boeing 737 Max aircraft as DGCA issues fresh guidelines

Among others, under the new guidelines, the DGCA mandated a minimum experience level of the crew operating B737 Max aircraft to fly as Pilot in Command (PIC) as 1,000 hours and 500 hours for co-pilot on Boeing 737 NG type of aircraft.

Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed minutes after take off. (File)

Putting to rest speculations over the future of Boeing 737 MAX planes being operated by domestic airlines, Aviation regulator DGCA Monday decided against grounding the planes and issued additional directions for its operation. The new guidelines come in the wake of Sunday’s deadly Ethiopian flight crash in which 157 passengers, including four Indians, were killed. The airline was operating the ill-fated Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

The pilot commanding the aircraft should have at least 1,000 hours of flying experience and co-pilot should have 5,00 hours of flying experience, according to the DGCA directions.

It is to be noted that Jet Airways and SpiceJet operate the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in its fleet and had provided all information to the DGCA about the same.

Jet Airways has recently placed orders for 225 737 MAX planes with Boeing and some have already been delivered. Meanwhile, SpiceJet, which has embarked on ambitious expansion plans, has a deal with Boeing for up to 205 aircraft, including at least 155 737 MAX 8 planes. As of now, SpiceJet operates 12 737 MAX 8 planes and Jet Airways has 5 such aircraft in their fleets, DGCA said in a statement.

Airplane engine parts are seen at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash. (REUTERS)

Last December, the DGCA asked Jet Airways and SpiceJet to immediately report any “abnormal” issues related to the MAX plane’s Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), following the Lion Air crash.


The 737 line has been one of the best selling aircraft to come out of the Boeing assembly and is likely to affect the business plan for the company. After the crash in Ethiopia, Boeing, on Sunday, said it was deeply saddened. “A Boeing technical team will be travelling to the crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and US National Transportation Safety Board,” the aircraft maker said in a statement.

China orders to ground Boeing 737MAX aircraft

A day after the fatal crash of the Ethiopian flight to Nairobi, regulators ordered Chinese airlines to suspend their Boeing Co 737 MAX aircraft operations by 6 p.m. (1000 GMT). The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said in a statement it would notify airlines as to when they could resume flying the jets after contacting Boeing and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to ensure flight safety.