The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has assured the flying public that no registered airline in the country is currently flying the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.
The assurance comes as Ethiopian Airlines confirmed there were no survivors of flight ET 302 — a MAX 8 aircraft — carrying 157 people, including eight crew, on board.
The crash occurred just six minutes after taking off from Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa bound for Nairobi in Kenya.
Head of Safety Regulations at the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority Daniel Acquah said the regulator is in touch with the aircraft maker and keenly monitoring the airspace to ensure no such aircraft operate into Ghana’s space.
He said, “none of the Ghanaian operators nor foreign airlines is operating the Boeing 737 Max 8 in or out of Ghana. Although Ethiopian airlines fly into Accra they use a different aircraft. Other airlines on the continent that even have that type of aircraft do not fly to Ghana. So now we are monitoring keenly and waiting for information from the Boeing manufacturers and other Airlines.”
Mr Acquah noted that the GCAA is in touch with the aircraft maker to check the safety of its other models.
“Although we are monitoring, we are in touch with Boeing as we have one of the aircraft models on our list and also if any airline will want to bring that aircraft [Boeing 787 Max 8] into the country we will have to carefully scrutinize it.”
When it was unveiled in 2017, the new Boeing 737 MAX 8 was touted as the “most reliable aircraft” in the world, promising to change the way we fly.
Technologically advanced, cheaper to run and offering the latest in passenger comfort, the fleet was touted as a fuel-efficient upgrade on previous models and, according to Boeing, was the fastest-selling plane in its history with thousands of orders placed by airlines around the world — including Australia.
But within just six months, the glitzy new 737’s have been involved in two catastrophic incidents, with two MAX 8 models faltering just minutes after takeoff and plunging into a deadly descent.
The air disasters have prompted airlines around the world to ground their MAX 8s until the cause of the accidents can be properly investigated.
On Monday, Ethiopia, Indonesia and China announced they were grounding their Max 8 fleets.