Indonesia Lifts Ban on Boeing 737 Max Aircraft 3 Years After Crash Killed 189 People

Indonesia is rescinding its ban on Boeing 737 Max aircrafts three years after the fatal crash into the Java Sea that killed all 189 passengers on one plane. Indonesia's government is the latest to end its grounding of the Boeing aircrafts after the 2018 Lion Air flight crash and another Ethiopian Airlines flight crash in 2019 killed a total of 346 people.

Investigators determined the crashes were caused by a computer system that tipped the noses of the aircrafts down while in flight, an issue that pilots could not override. Boeing had completed technical upgrades on the planes to remedy the flaw.

The Transportation Ministry said in a statement that the lifting of the ban is effective immediately and came after a regulator evaluation of the aircraft system changes, Reuters reported.

Before the aircrafts will be allowed to operate in Indonesia, airlines will have to carry out airworthiness directives, Indonesia's Transportation Ministry said in a statement Wednesday. Novie Riyanto, the ministry's director-general of Civil Aviation, said that the planes will also have to undergo inspections before they can start flying in Indonesia again.

"Several flight operators have stated that they have carried out airworthiness orders for 737 MAX aircraft, in accordance with FAA provisions and will prepare training and simulators at the nearest facility, in Singapore," Riyanto said.

The lifting of the ban was effective immediately and it follows the evaluation of changes to the aircraft's system by regulators, the ministry said in a statement.

Ethiopian Airlines said Monday that it will resume flights with the Boeing 737 Max aircraft in February, BBC reported.

Indonesia Boeing Ban Lifted
Indonesia said Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021, it is lifting its ban on Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft, three years after one crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 189 people on board. Lion Air's Boeing 737 Max 8 sits on the tarmac at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, Indonesia, April 13, 2019. Nicole Evatt/AP Photo

Earlier this month, China became the last major market to approve the Boeing 737 Max after the United States allowed flights to resume in December 2020. European Union regulators gave permission in January. Brazil and Canada also have given approval.

Anton Sahadi, whose 24-year-old cousins Muhammad Rafi Ardian and Rian Ariandi died in the 2018 crash, said that he regrets the government decided to let the 737 Max fly again.

"The government has to ensure that the aircraft meets safety standards so that similar incidents don't happen again," Sahadi said.

"I do not see the urgency yet for Boeing's 737 Max aircrafts to fly again in Indonesia. Families of victims still have not finished the process of resolving problems with Boeing," he said.

Sahadi was referring to complaints by some families of crash victims that a $2.5 billion settlement between Boeing and the U.S.

Department of Justice excluded them from involvement in negotiating their compensation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ethiopian Airlines
Indonesia’s government is the latest to end its grounding of the Boeing aircrafts after the 2018 Lion Air flight crash and another Ethiopian Airlines flight crash in 2019 killed a total of 346 people. Passengers board Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 846 on December 1, 2021 in Cape Town, South Africa. David Silverman/Getty Images