Government considers ban on Boeing 737 in Indonesia: Minister

Government considers ban on Boeing 737 in Indonesia: Minister

"Yes, if Singapore can do it, why can't we?"
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Maritime Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said that the government could consider a ban on the operations of Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, after Singapore took the step earlier.

"Yes, if Singapore can do it, why can't we?" Pandjaitan stated at an event in Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta, on Tuesday.

But he admitted that he would not be in a hurry in taking the decision. Various aspects, especially related to safety, will be considered by the government. Hence, it will not be decided in the near future.

"It will be decided only after careful evaluation. It cannot be rushed because it involves many parties," he noted.

At present, the government, through the Ministry of Transportation, has taken action to ground Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft owned by Indonesian airlines in the next week.

During the temporary flight ban, the Ministry of Transportation will inspect 11 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in Indonesia.

Pandjaitan added that he would hold a meeting with the minister and leaders of related institutions in the near future to assess the results of the inspections of Boeing 737 Max 8.

"We thought that Boeing could be temporarily grounded. Tomorrow, we will discuss the issue again," he added.

He emphasized that the government currently prioritizes the safety of people who travel by air. If the results of the inspection state that the Boeing 737 Max 8 is weak in terms of security, then Indonesia is free to set further policies regarding the use or operation of the aircraft.

"Anything can happen. We will consider the security," he noted.

The government will act decisively, even though some airlines are still making bookings for Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, he revealed.

"Yes, we will see if the aircraft still remains flawed," he remarked.

At present, the Indonesian government continues to communicate with Boeing, and a number of countries, which have temporarily prohibited the operation of Boeing 737 Max 8, namely China and Ethiopia.

Pandjaitan explained that the inspection period of Boeing 737 Max 8 could take more than a week if serious issues were found. However, we will still be waiting for information from the Ministry of Transportation.

The serious attention of the state authorities to the Boeing 737 Max 8 came after an aircraft of the same type belonging to the Ethiopian Airlines airline crashed about six minutes after taking off from the airport in Addis Ababa on Sunday (March 10).

In fact, a same type of aircraft belonging to Lion Air had earlier crashed in Karawang waters on Oct 29, 2019.