Saudi Ban on Boeing MAX Flights to Continue for Near Future

All 157 people on board were killed when the Boeing 737 Max crashed.

Saudi Arabia said on Monday there were no immediate plans to allow Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to operate in the kingdom.

The family of 31-year-old Jackson Musoni, a Rwandan citizen who died in the Ethiopian Airlines accident, filed a lawsuit against Boeing on Thursday in a court in Chicago, where the company has its corporate headquarters.

Just a few weeks ago, another 737 Max crashed six minutes after takeoff from Ethiopia.

The Wall Street Journal - which says it's spoken to people close to the ongoing investigation - says the information it has "paints a picture of a catastrophic failure that quickly overwhelmed the flight crew".

A man carries a piece of debris on his head at the crash site of a Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines flight near Bishoftu, a town some 60 kilometres southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 10 March 2019.

On the plane's cockpit voice recorder, a pilot is heard yelling, "pitch up, pitch up" in the moments before the crash - a possible indication the automated system had forced the aircraft into a dive, the standard maneuver for recovering from a stall.

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Leaks last week from the crash investigation in Ethiopia and in the USA suggest an automatic anti-stall system was activated at the time of the disaster.

"It makes no sense for Boeing - or any company for that matter - to be involved in an active investigation surrounding questions of safety while also retaining "membership" on a federal committee that recommends airline industry regulations", the New York Democrat said on Sunday.

After the second crash of a Boeing 737 MAX, the aircraft was grounded worldwide.

The stakes are high, with Boeing trying to hold on to almost 5,000 MAX 737 orders; air safety regulators facing questions over their scrutiny of the aircraft; and airlines and victims' families looking for answers - and potentially compensation.

Boeing and the FAA declined to comment to AFP.

The pilot had tried repeatedly to regain control and pull the nose up but the plane smashed into the sea.

Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the accidents, but a preliminary report from Ethiopian authorities is expected within days.

  • Sonia Alvarado