Following the two catastrophic and so far unexplained plane crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that involved brand new Boeing 737 MAX8 aircraft, some people have told me they are concerned that they may be booked to fly on one on their next trip to Rhodes or Kos.
At the time of writing, the following airlines that have flights to Rhodes and Kos in summer 2019 have already taken delivery of MAX8 or the similar but slightly longer MAX9: Smartwings Norwegian (but they have voluntarily withdrawn the fleet from service and will use the older and well-proved Boeing 737-800 instead)
Enter Air (planes grounded by Polish national aviation authority decision)
TUI Group (Belgium, Netherlands, Nordic) (TUI UK will not be able to use theirs as the UK has banned MAX8/9 from UK airspace)UPDATE – TUI group has voluntarily grounded all MAX planes. S7
orendon (their one plane is not in passenger service yet).
Now all these airlines also have other versions of the Boeing 737 that have a long and safe history, so it isn’t always clear which version they intend to use. The pressure of public and professional opinion seems to be increasing on airlines and national aviation authorities to remove the MAX8 and MAX9 from service until it becomes clear what caused the two crashes, and effective action is taken to resolve any design or training issues involved. Already the planes are banned in Australia, and a combination of voluntary grounding and national aviation authority action has effectively removed them from South American, Asian and African skies. The UK banned them from its airports and airspace about an hour ago, and now Germany (plus France, Belgium, Poland, Italy, the Netherlands and Ireland) has followed suit. This effectively means that the plane can only reach the Dodecanese from East/Central Europe or the Middle East, and it is strongly rumoured that the whole of Europe will ban MAX planes in a few hours time
Situation is now simple. The 737MAX is now banned from all European airspace, so cannot be used on flights to Greece from anywhere.