Iran has joined a long list of counties which closed their airspace to the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft after the second fatal crash of the planes in less than five months.
“A ban on the passage of the Boeing Max aircraft through Iran’s skies has been issued as has been the case with other countries,” Reza Jafarzadeh, head of public relations at Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, was quoted by Fars news agency as saying on Friday.
The announcement came after the European Union member states and other major countries closed their airspace to the aircraft.
Iran itself does not possess Boeing 737 Max 8 planes due to US sanctions but its airspace is vastly used by international aviation companies which value the country’s safe routes.
Dozens of countries and airlines across the world have grounded the planes this week after an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX en route from Addis Ababa to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi crashed a few minutes after takeoff on Sunday, killing all the 157 people, mostly foreign nationals, on board.
The crash was the second of a Boring 737 plane in five months. In October 2018, a Lion Air jet crashed into the sea off Indonesia’s island of Java, only minutes after taking off from the capital Jakarta. The crash claimed the lives of 189 people.
More than 300 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 planes have been taken out of service around the world ever since.
The US Federal Aviation Administration said late Tuesday that it had found “no systemic performance issues” with the aircraft.
On Friday, industry sources said China’s move to ground Boeing Co’s 737 MAX jetliners has cast a shadow over the American planemaker’s immediate hopes for a major jet order.
Evidence of a major potential order for more than 100 jets worth well over $10 billion at list prices had risen in recent weeks as Washington and Beijing reported some progress in trade talks to resolve a months-long trade war.