German authorities have refused entry of a Norwegian Boeing 737 MAX 8 into their airspace. The aircraft, which was performing a ferry flight, eventually landed in a Parisian airport.
The Boeing 737 MAX 8 registered SE-RTB of the low-cost carrier Norwegian departed on June 11, 2019, from Malaga airport (AGP), in Spain, to return to the company’s base in Stockholm (ARN), Sweden.
However, as it was about to reach the German border, the aircraft was put on hold and started flying in circles above the French eastern region of Moselle, Flightradar24 data shows. Germany had refused entry into its airspace.
The flight was eventually aborted, and the aircraft had to land in Paris-Vatry airport (XCR) for refueling.
After the two crashes of Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines involving a Boeing 737 MAX 8, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has forbidden the aircraft from operating commercial flights within its airspace. Ferry flights to reposition the planes are still allowed.
However, each European country remains sovereign of its airspace. Unlike France, which allows specific authorizations for ferry flights, Germany’s NOTAM is unequivocal: “any flight with the types Boeing 737 MAX 8 and Boeing 837 MAX 9 within the airspace of the Federal Republic of Germany is prohibited”.
Thus, while Norwegian claims that the flight had been approved by Eurocontrol, it will now have to rethink the flight route for its Boeing 737 MAX to reach Stockholm.
Such occurrences are rare, as flight routes are planned ahead. But on November 1, 2018, the entrance of Air France flight AF258 into the Russian airspace had been denied forcing the plane to turn back and, after unsuccessful landing attempt in Warsaw, return to Paris.
Image: Edward Russell