India grounds Boeing 737 MAX planes; Jet, SpiceJet shares fall

FILE PHOTO: A Jet Airways Boeing 737-800 passenger plane moves on the runway as a man walks past at an airport in New Delhi, India, August 27, 2018. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

(Reuters) – India is grounding U.S. planemaker Boeing Co’s (BA.N) 737 MAX aircraft immediately, the ministry of civil aviation said late on Tuesday, following the fatal crash of a plane of the same type in Ethiopia on Sunday.

“These planes will be grounded till appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations,” the ministry said in a Twitter post here

Jet Airways Ltd (JET.NS) and SpiceJet Ltd (SPJT.BO), two top Indian airlines, operate Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

SpiceJet suspended Boeing 737 Max operations after the regulator’s decision to ground the aircraft, SpiceJet’s spokesman said on Wednesday.

“We will be working with the regulator and the manufacturer to attain normalcy in our operations,” he added.

The European Union’s aviation safety regulator earlier on Tuesday suspended all flights in the bloc by Boeing 737 MAX planes, joining a wave of suspensions of the aircraft across the globe.

SpiceJet’s shares plunged 5.5 percent in the first few minutes of trade while Jet was trading 2.2 percent lower.

Shares of low-cost airline InterGlobe Aviation (INGL.NS) rose 2.9 percent.

Reporting by Rachit Vats and Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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