Virgin Australia has ordered THIRTY Boeing 737 Max 8 planes – the same that crashed in Indonesia

The model of plane that plunged into the ocean and killed 189 people is utilised by many major international airlines and is one of the most-used aircraft in the world.

The Boeing 737 Max 8, which plummeted into the seas 13 minutes after take-off on Monday, was the fastest selling plane in history, The Australian reported.

Lion Air’s flight JT-610 was bound for Pangkal Pinang, an island north of Indonesia‘s capital Jakarta, when it lost contact with air traffic control about 6.33am local time.

Just minutes after take-off the plane vanished from the radar and plunged 5,000ft into the sea, moments after pilot, Bhavye Suneja, reported ‘technical difficulties’.

Virgin Australia, Australia’s second largest airline, has 30 Boeing 737 Max 8s on order, with its first fleet scheduled to start service late 2019.

The Boeing 737 Max 8 (pictured), which plummeted into the seas 13 minutes after take-off on Monday, was the fastest selling plane in history

The Boeing 737 Max 8 (pictured), which plummeted into the seas 13 minutes after take-off on Monday, was the fastest selling plane in history

The Boeing 737 Max 8 (pictured), which plummeted into the seas 13 minutes after take-off on Monday, was the fastest selling plane in history

Virgin is the first Australian airline to confirm its introduction of Boeing 737 Max 8s to its fleet, but Qantas has reportedly considered following its move by 2022.

The aircraft is utilised by some of the world’s biggest companies including American Airlines, Icelandair, Air Canada, Air China, Silkair, Southwest Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines.

The plane entered service in 2017 and offered quieter cabins and more efficient fuel consumption due to the innovative design of its tail. 

Boeing reportedly had trouble keeping up with a rush of orders, which have already amassed 4,700 from more than 100 airlines including Ryanair, Jet Airways and Norwegian Air Shuttle.

Boeing estimated 737 sales accounted for up to 40 per cent of the company’s total profits.   

Daily Mail Australia has contacted each airline to confirm if additionally safety checks would be carried out in the wake of Monday’s tragedy. There is no suggestion that any of the planes are likely to malfunction.

In a statement, American Airlines said it offered ‘condolences to the families and friends of those on board Lion Air 610’ and said it was continuing to ‘closely monitor the investigation via Boeing and the National Transportation Safety Board’.

Southwest Airlines confirmed its ‘MAX fleet remains fully operational with no adjustments to our schedule’. 

Members of an Indonesian rescue team carry a body bag at Tanjung Priok Harbour, Indonesia, in the wake of the disaster

Members of an Indonesian rescue team carry a body bag at Tanjung Priok Harbour, Indonesia, in the wake of the disaster

Members of an Indonesian rescue team carry a body bag at Tanjung Priok Harbour, Indonesia, in the wake of the disaster

An Indonesian policeman at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta holds wreckage recovered from the ill-fated Lion Air flight JT610

An Indonesian policeman at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta holds wreckage recovered from the ill-fated Lion Air flight JT610

An Indonesian policeman at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta holds wreckage recovered from the ill-fated Lion Air flight JT610

‘The entire Southwest Family extends our Southwest Heart to Lion Air and offers our deepest condolences to each of the families and loved ones affected by the tragic accident in Indonesia. We are in touch with Boeing and will closely monitor the situation and any findings from this tragic event.

‘As a note, we maintain our 737 MAX 8 aircraft in accordance with our FAA-approved maintenance program, originally developed, and continually maintained, in partnership with Boeing,’ the airline told Daily Mail Australia.  

The model, despite Monday’s fatal crash, has been labeled the safest in the world and the most-used by airlines around the world, according to aviation expert Neil Hansford.

‘Basically, if there wasn’t any 737s then half the world wouldn’t move. I wouldn’t expect a catastrophic technical fault to be the cause of this crash in Indonesia and I absolutely do not believe it should be cause for concern about the overall safety of this type of aircraft,’ Mr Hansford told Brisbane Times

The Lion Air flight crashed into the sea having reached an altitude of 5,000ft shortly after take off

The Lion Air flight crashed into the sea having reached an altitude of 5,000ft shortly after take off

The Lion Air flight crashed into the sea having reached an altitude of 5,000ft shortly after take off

Air China is one of the major international airlines to utilise the Boeing 737 MAX 8 (737 pictured)

Air China is one of the major international airlines to utilise the Boeing 737 MAX 8 (737 pictured)

Air China is one of the major international airlines to utilise the Boeing 737 MAX 8 (737 pictured)

According to a technical log the plane, which had only been in service a few months, suffered instrument problems the day before because of an ‘unreliable’ airspeed reading. 

The aircraft costs $144million and has the same sizing as the Boeing 737-800, however will compete with Airbus A320neo to replace Qantas’ 737-800 after 2022.

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 has passed certification to service America and Europe, but will have to pass further Civil Aviation Safety Authority testing before being flown in Australia.

The pilot and co-pilot of the doomed Lion Air flight had more than 11,000 flying hours between them, according to the airline. 

Silkair, a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, uses the Boeing 737 MAX 8 for short- to medium-haul flights (737 pictured)

Silkair, a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, uses the Boeing 737 MAX 8 for short- to medium-haul flights (737 pictured)

Silkair, a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, uses the Boeing 737 MAX 8 for short- to medium-haul flights (737 pictured)

American Airlines said it was continuing to 'closely monitor the investigation via Boeing and the National Transportation Safety Board' (American Airlines' 737 pictured)

American Airlines said it was continuing to 'closely monitor the investigation via Boeing and the National Transportation Safety Board' (American Airlines' 737 pictured)

American Airlines said it was continuing to ‘closely monitor the investigation via Boeing and the National Transportation Safety Board’ (American Airlines’ 737 pictured)

‘It appears that something has happened as they’ve flown over the Indonesian coast that has caused the pilot concern and it appears he has attempted to turn around and come back to the runway just minutes after leaving, but only time will tell what caused the plane to crash into the ocean instead,’ Mr Hansford said.

Boeing released a statement offering its condolences to families of victims on Monday, writing: ‘The Boeing Company is deeply saddened by the loss of Lion Air Flight JT 610. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of those on board.’

‘Boeing is providing technical assistance at the request and under the direction of government authorities investigating the accident. 

‘In accordance with international protocol, all inquiries about this accident investigation must be directed to the investigating authority in charge, the National Transportation Safety Committee of Indonesia.’ 

A wallet belonging to a victim of the Lion Air passenger jet that crashed is seen in the waters of Ujung Karawang, West Java

A wallet belonging to a victim of the Lion Air passenger jet that crashed is seen in the waters of Ujung Karawang, West Java

A wallet belonging to a victim of the Lion Air passenger jet that crashed is seen in the waters of Ujung Karawang, West Java

The fate of the passengers are unknown, but relatives were seen crying as they awaited news on their loved ones

The fate of the passengers are unknown, but relatives were seen crying as they awaited news on their loved ones

The fate of the passengers are unknown, but relatives were seen crying as they awaited news on their loved ones

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