Korea Launches Emergency Aircraft Inspection After B737 Crash

Aviation authorities are on alert regarding the safety of a specific airplane model following two crashes of the same type of aircraft overseas, as a Korean carrier is operating one and several others are planning to include the model in their fleets.

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Monday, its officials are conducting an emergency inspection of two Boeing B737 Max 8 planes operated by Eastar Jet.

The inspection comes after an Ethiopian Airlines plane of the same model crashed on Sunday en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi with 157 people onboard. In October, a Lion Air B737 Max 8 crashed in the Java Sea, killing 189 people. As both planes crashed minutes after takeoff, safety concerns over the B737 model are rising.

"An Ethiopian Airlines' B737 Max 8 crashed, so we sent inspectors to Eastar Jet to thoroughly check the maintenance and operation situations of their planes," an official from the transport ministry said.

Eastar Jet was the first Korean carrier to bring in two new B737 Max 8 jets since late last year, which have been used for flights bound for Japan and Thailand.

The recent crash has put other local carriers on alert as they are scheduled to introduce the new jets in the near future.

Korean Air is scheduled to bring in six planes, and T'way Air, four, this year, while Jeju Air inked a deal last year to bring in 50 B737s in stages starting 2022.

"The cause of the accident has not been revealed, so we are watching the situation carefully. In 2015, we made an agreement with Boeing to bring in 30 B737 Max 8s. In addition, we have an option to order 20 more. In my opinion some changes may be in order after these accidents," a Korean Air official said.

"We are bringing in the jets starting 2022, so we do not have any detailed response at this point," a Jeju Air official said.

The ministry said there is no solid evidence of any...

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