The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport objected to Korean Air’s plan to bring in the Boeing 737 MAX, which has gone through two crash accidents in five months.
At present, four South Korean airlines are planning to introduce 114 B-737 Max 8 jets until 2027 starting from this month, which are divided into Jeju Air’s 56, Korean Air’s 30, Eastar Jet’s 18 and T’way Air’s 10. Those include Korean Air’s six, Eastar Jet’s four and T’way Air’s four that are scheduled to be brought in this year.
Korean Air is slated to receive one this month according to its contract with Boeing. “We are going to bring in the plane as scheduled and put it into operation only after safety is ensured,” Korean Air explained. However, the ministry is opposed to the introduction itself. “Every country in the world currently bans the plane’s operation and passage through its airspace,” said the ministry.
Under the circumstances, the airlines other than Korean Air are changing their plans. T’way Air’s losses are expected to be prevented in that it does not have its own hangars unlike Korean Air. On the contrary, Eastar Jet, which was operating two units of the model without its own hangars before the prohibition, is facing a monthly housing cost of no less than 30 million won.
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, in the meantime, admitted on April 4 that the accidents were due to software failures.