SINGAPORE - Singapore Airlines confirmed on Tuesday morning (March 12) that its regional arm SilkAir is temporarily withdrawing its Boeing 737 Max 8 fleet from service.
This comes after an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed on Sunday, killing all 157 on board, making it the second fatal crash for the Boeing 737 Max 8 passenger jet in half a year.
In a Facebook post at 10.55am, SIA said that the safety of its customers and crew is its highest priority, and as of Tuesday morning, all six of SilkAir's 737 Max 8 aircraft have been grounded in Singapore and will not be returned to service until further notice.
The airline's 17 Boeing 737-800s are not affected, according to the statement.
SIA said: "The withdrawal from service of the 737 Max 8 fleet will have an impact on some of the airline's flight schedules. Customers who may be affected by flight disruptions will be contacted for re-accommodation."
Boeing 737 Max 8 planes have been used on SilkAir flights to Bengaluru, Cairns, Chongqing, Darwin, Hiroshima, Hyderabad, Kathmandu, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Phnom Penh, Phuket and Wuhan.
SIA confirmed that there will be flight cancellations. The Straits Times understands that details are still being sorted out.
The company said that it was deeply saddened by the loss of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302, and "our hearts go out to those affected by the accident".
SilkAir is in close communication with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Changi Airport Group to manage the effects of flight disruptions, said SIA, adding that it would provide updates on affected flights when finalised.
Customers affected by the Boeing 737 Max 8 flight disruptions and who require assistance can e-mail or call SIA.
They are also advised to update their contact details or subscribe to a mobile notification service to receive updates on their flight status.
CAAS announced on Tuesday morning that the Republic is temporarily suspending operation of all variants of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft into and out of Singapore.
The suspension will take effect from 2pm on Tuesday.