China Eastern Airlines, whose plane crashed in southern China today, March 21, is suspending all Boeing 737-800 flights. The carrier has 102 such liners. The aircraft that crashed on March 21 was put into operation six years ago.
In October 2018 and March 2019, Boeing 737 MAX aircraft model was involved in two plane crashes at a time — in Indonesia and Ethiopia. A total of 346 people were killed in the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes. Following the tragedies, China was one of the first countries in the world that banned the use of the Boeing 737 MAX in 2019.
Both plane crashes were associated with a malfunction of the MCAS system (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System), which automatically corrects the position of the aircraft in the air. The flights of Boeing 737 MAX were suspended worldwide, including in Russia.
The US Federal Aviation Administration resumed the use of Boeing 737 MAX liners in November 2020, after Boeing Corporation refined the model and completed safety reviews.
Chinese carriers received approval to resume commercial flights of Boeing 737 MAX in early 2021.