TUI Airways have now grounded their Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets after Ethiopia crash

A TUI aircraft
A TUI aircraft
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British holiday airline TUI have grounded their fleet of Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes after the model was involved in a fatal crash.

The carrier, which flies out of Leeds Bradford Airport, has initially declined to take its six MAX 8 jets out of service following Sunday's Ethiopian Airways crash, which killed 157 people.

These are the TUI routes being axed from Leeds Bradford Airport
Although other airlines around the world had grounded the aircraft of the same model, TUI and several other carriers did not immediately do so and were liaising with manufacturers Boeing.

TUI has withdrawn the jets - which were only launched in 2017 - from service following after the Civil Aviation Authority banned them from UK airspace until further notice. China, Malaysia, Australia and Singapore have issued similar blocks.

Alternative aircraft have been sent to European airports to collect passengers due to travel home on MAX 8 flights.

TUI, formerly Thomsonfly, flies to Corfu and Majorca from Leeds Bradford Airport and also operates chartered cruise flights. Six destinations - Antalya, Burgas, Dubrovnik, Ibiza, Paphos, and Rhodes - were cancelled for the 2019 season just before Christmas. The airline specialises in European package holidays and short-haul trips.

A spokesperson for TUI said:-

"TUI Airways can confirm that all 737 MAX 8 aircraft currently operating in the UK have been grounded following the decision from the UK regulatory authorities today. Any customers due to fly home today on a 737 MAX 8 from their holiday will be flown back on another aircraft. Customers due to travel in the coming days will also travel on holiday as planned on other aircraft. The safety and wellbeing of our customers and staff has remained our primary concern."

157 people were killed when a Boeing 737 MAX 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed just minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa en route to Nairobi on Sunday. The aircraft was just a few months old. The model has only been in service since 2017, but was also involved in another fatal accident last October in Indonesia, when an internal Lion Air flight crashed near Jakarta, killing 189.

The only other carrier which operates MAX 8s on British routes is Norwegian, which has now also grounded them.

Among the victims of the Ethiopia crash was a University of Leeds graduate, 25-year-old aid worker Sam Pegram, from Lancashire.