- Two UK-bound Boeing 737 MAX jets heading for Britain from Istanbul returned mid-air
- The jets were forced to make the return after the UK banned Boeing 737 MAX jets following the Ethiopian Airlines disaster
- The decision to return mid-air was reportedly taken by the Turkish Airlines to avoid the jets being grounded in Britain
As the United Kingdom (UK) joins countries that have placed ban on Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes following the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash disaster, two Boeing jets, belonging to Turkish Airlines, heading for Britain were forced to turn around mid-air.
According to the UK Independent, the aircraft were bound from Istanbul airport to Birmingham and Gatwick.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the aircraft had taken off ahead of the Civil Aviation Authority ban on the MAX variant in UK airspace, which was announced shortly after 1pm UK time.
The Birmingham flight, operating as TK1969, was approaching Frankfurt in western Germany, about three hours into the four hour flight.
The Gatwick flight, TK1997, had covered just over half the journey and was over the Czech Republic when the order came to turn back.
Passengers will be reportedly re-booked on alternative flights from Istanbul.
The Independent reported that the decision to return mid-air was taken by Turkish Airlines, adding that the aircraft may have been allowed to land, but could have been grounded in the UK – a situation the airlines probably did not want to happen.
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Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that all 157 passengers and crew aboard an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 died when it crashed shortly after take-off to Nairobi on Sunday, March 10.
It was the second fatal accident within six months. A Lion Air 737 MAX 8 crashed shortly after take off from Jakarta airport in October 2018, with the loss of 189 lives.
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