China Eastern Airlines Cancels All B737-800 Flights

In the early hours of this morning, a China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737 that was travelling between Kunming and Guangzhou crashed into a hilly section of the country. The aircraft was carrying a total of 132 people: 123 passengers and nine members of the crew. The aircraft crashed in Teng County, Wuzhou, Guangxi, igniting a forest fire as it came down. The fire was brought under control in a short period of time.

As reported by the Chinese news site Yicai, China Eastern Airlines has now announced that it would begin grounding all of its Boeing 737-800 aircraft as of tomorrow. The airline has established a 24-hour emergency help telephone hotline for the benefit of the crew and passengers’ relatives and friends. Those aboard the airplane, including passengers and crew members, were sent their heartfelt sympathies.

According to the article, a statement from China Eastern says as follows:

Despite the fact that it is unclear if the accident was caused by the aircraft, the business has chosen to cease the operation of all of its 737-800 planes beginning tomorrow, with a recovery timetable that has not yet been defined.

Not the previously troubled Boeing 737 MAX, but rather the 737 NG, an older type of the airliner, was the subject of the investigation. The Boeing 737-800 is one of the safest planes in the world, with more than 7,000 planes delivered and just 11 fatal incidents since its introduction in 1997. According to, the aircraft used by China Eastern was just 6.8 years old, making it one of the youngest planes in the world.

China Eastern has a total of 107 of the same aircraft type in its fleet. In addition to these, it operates 39 Boeing 737-700s from the same vintage, and there are no plans to phase them out of service. It is possible that routes that were formerly served by the 737-800 would be transferred to one of the airline’s vast fleet of Airbus A320 family planes, which is already in service.

The number of cancellations is increasing.

A black and white theme was applied to the Chinese language version of China Eastern’s website earlier today, as a token of respect for those who died in the tragedy and their families. In the aftermath of the sad tragedy, however, this has not been enough to prevent large-scale cancellations from affecting the airline’s operations. According to Bloomberg, the airline’s cancellation rate is expected to be around 82 percent for the remainder of Monday and Tuesday.

For the time being, the service between Kunming and Guangzhou has been discontinued altogether, with no tickets available for purchase. Rescue attempts have been ordered to start as quickly as possible by China’s President Xi Jinping, but the chances of finding survivors are not looking good.

The Wuzhou City Fire Rescue Detachment responded immediately to the scene of the accident, sending 23 fire engines and 117 firefighters and rescue workers to the scene. The Guangxi Fire and Rescue Corps responded quickly, deploying 538 rescue workers from Nanning, Liuzhou, Guilin, Beihai, Yulin, Hezhou, Laibin, and Hechi Detachment to help with the relief effort.

Teng County People’s Hospital, according to Yicai, has sent a lot of medical personnel and cars to the scene in order to assist with the rescue efforts as well. There was an increase in the number of staff at the facility. 

However, some hours later, no victims had been admitted to any of the hospitals in the surrounding region. Tengxian Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital and Teng County Township’s Central Health Center were visited by a reporter from the local media, however none of the institutions reported any new patients or visitors.

Flight monitoring services and surveillance footage from the surrounding region suggest that the 737 plummeted at a near-vertical angle, with the nose of the plane down. It is probable that it will be some time before investigators are able to come to any form of conclusion on what caused the tragedy in the first place.

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