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Many countries have (temporarily I think) banned 737 Max 8s from taking off or landing. What happened to the ones in the air? Do they get special permissions or are they forced to divert to a different country that is allowing them to land?

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    $\begingroup$ They've been grounded. I don't think that means they can't land. They obviously have to land. $\endgroup$ – Carey Gregory Mar 12 at 21:30
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You can find the full wording of the EASA grounding order here which does not specify a course of action for planes mid air but does call for the immediate grounding at the time the order goes into effect (March 12th 2019 @ 19:00Z)

For the reasons described above, pending the availability of more information, EASA has decided to suspend all flight operations of the two affected models.

This AD is considered an interim action and further AD action is expected to follow.

The AD points to sections 301 and 303 of the EASA regulations which does not seem to shed much more light on the situation other than;

Any applicable airworthiness directive must be carried out within the requirements of that airworthiness directive, unless otherwise specified by the Agency.

Which points us back to the AD, which again offers no specific instructions on immediate grounding.

However according to FlightRadar24's Twitter they are seeing some diversions or at least possible course changes. As people point out in the comments its possible the airlines are diverting the aircraft to airports they can better provide support/maintenance at.

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    $\begingroup$ As people point out in the comments its possible the airlines are diverting the aircraft to airports they can better provide support/maintenance at. Many flights originating outside EU and returning to their EU bases were diverted to North Africa and Turkey and the passangers had to be flown by different aircraft on the next day. They planes will probably be allowed to make a technical flight later to the place with support/maintenance available. $\endgroup$ – Vladimir F Mar 13 at 20:19

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