By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Gol Linhas Aéreas, one of Brazil’s largest airline companies, has temporarily suspended all commercial operations with the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft since Monday night, according to airline officials. The decision comes after the crash of the Ethiopian Airline crash on Sunday minutes after takeoff and that left 149 people dead.
“Safety, GOL’s number one value, directs absolutely every initiative of the company. The company informs that starting at 20:00 today (8PM Monday, March 12th), we will temporarily suspend the commercial operations of its 737 Max 8 aircrafts,” read the statement issued by the airline company.
Gol Airlines is the only Brazilian airline company to have the 737 Max 8 aircrafts on its fleet.
The company reported that operations with this model of aircraft began in June of 2018, and that 2,933 flights were made, totaling more than 12,700 hours.
“Currently, the company’s fleet consists of 121 Boeing aircraft, including seven 737 Max 8 models,” the note adds.
According to airline officials, customers scheduled to travel on a 737 Max 8 aircraft will be placed on other flights from the company or on other airlines, such as its Delta Air Lines partner.
The company also reiterated it will continue to operate international destinations with the Boeing 737 NGs, ‘with no cancellation of the grid’.
Gol is just one of several airlines across the world to suspend operations with the 737 Max 8 on Monday. The decision comes after the second accident with this type of aircraft in less than six months.
In October of last year, an identical aircraft of Indonesian company Lion Air fell thirteen minutes after leaving the airport of Jakarta, causing 189 deaths.