Boeing to upgrade Max 8 software

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A Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft is parked at a Boeing production facility in Renton, Washington, U.S., March 11, 2019. REUTERS/David Ryder

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Boeing Co confirmed late on Monday it will deploy a software upgrade to the 737 MAX 8, a few hours after the Federal Aviation Administration said it would mandate “design changes” in the aircraft by April.

Boeing did not reference Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines crash in connection to the software upgrade but did express the company’s condolences to the relatives of the 157 people who died.

The company said in the aftermath of October’s Lion Air Flight crash it has for several months “been developing a flight control software enhancement for the 737 MAX, designed to make an already safe aircraft even safer.”

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Meanwhile Australia’s civil aviation safety authority yesterday suspended Boeing Co 737 MAX aircraft from flying to or from Australia.

Australia’s move only affects Singapore Airlines Ltd’s Silk Air and Fiji Airways, as no Australian carriers use the model.

During the past two days, Singapore, Indonesia and China have grounded their Boeing 737 Max fleets.

In Malaysia, Economic Minister Azmin Ali said the country may have to reconsider the purchase of 25 Boeing Co 737 MAX 8 aircraft, the Nikkei reported on Monday.

Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, Khazanah, would have to “revisit” the agreement to buy the jets for the country’s flagship carrier Malaysia Airlines, it quoted Mr Azmin as saying.

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