A Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane identical to the Ethiopian crash jet that killed everyone on board earlier this month has been forced into an emergency landing.
The Southwest Airlines flight declared an emergency on board before landing safely back in Orlando, it has been reported.
There were no passengers on board at the time and the flight was heading to to Victorville, California for repositioning but returned safely to Orlando at about 2:50 p.m. (1850 GMT).
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the flight had suffered an ‘engine-related’ problem.
It comes weeks after airlines around the world grounded their Boeing 737 MAX aircrafts following the Ethiopia tragedy which killed 157 people.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority announced it had banned the jet from UK airspace prompting fresh fears over the safety of the aircraft.
And the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) also suspended flights involving Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9.
Southwest Airlines previously said it remained fully confident in the aircraft and was closely monitoring the investigation.
However, the FAA grounded the 737 MAX following two fatal crashes since October but has allowed airlines to conduct flights without passengers to move planes to other airports.
A Boeing spokesman said it the company was “aware of the incident and supporting our customer.”
Southwest did not immediately comment.
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