Canada grounds Boeing 737 Max8s

Canada has decided to ground all Boeing 737 Max8s from taking off, landing or flying over Canadian airspace .

The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, issued the following statement today:

“My thoughts continue to go out to all those affected by the tragic aircraft accident involving an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“Following advice from Transport Canada Civil Aviation experts, as a precautionary measure, I am issuing a safety notice to address this issue. This safety notice restricts commercial passenger flights from any air operator, both domestic and foreign, of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft – from arriving, departing, or overflying Canadian airspace.

“This safety notice is effective immediately, and will remain in place until further notice.

“The advice the experts have provided is based on the information they have been receiving; the requirements for new procedures and training for Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 flight crews they have already put in place; and the latest information available from the incidents.

“It is too soon to speculate about the cause of the accident in Addis Ababa, and to make direct links to the Lion Air accident in Indonesia in October 2018; however, my department has been closely monitoring the investigations by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority.

“Following the Lion Air accident, Transport Canada adopted the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airworthiness Directive. It also required that Canadian airlines who operate the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft, put new procedures in place and implement additional crew training.

“We were one of the first countries to do so and not all countries have implemented this change. And these Canadian requirements for new procedures and training to protect against the risk identified went above and beyond the measures directed by the United States Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing – and above and beyond what other nations have done.

“Canada has an enviable aviation safety record because of the professionalism and safety-first focus of Canada’s aviation industry – those who design and manufacture aircraft, those who maintain them, our airports, our air traffic controllers and of course those who operate and fly the aircraft. It also due to the world-class knowledge, expertise and relentless focus on safety by Transport Canada officials who are responsible for developing regulations and ensuring compliance with those regulations.

“My departmental officials continue to monitor the situation and I will not hesitate to take swift action, should we discover any additional safety issues.”

Canada joins many countries that have grounded Boeing 737 Max8s including Australia, U.K, China, Singapore, India, South Korea, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates as a result of the second crash involving Boeing 737 Max8s.

The 737 MAX 8 has suffered two fatal crashes in October 2018 and March 2019.

On October 29, 2018, Lion Air Flight crashed into the Java Sea 13 minutes after take off from Soekarno–Hatta International Airport, Jakarta and last week, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, crashed approximately six minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia killing all 149 passengers and 8 crew members on board. 18 Canadians were on board the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.

Canadian airlines, Air Canada has 24 Boeing 737 Max8s, WestJet flies 13 and Sunwing has four.

Sunwing grounded its aircrafts today morning.

Air Canada has confirmed that it will comply immediately with Transport Canada’s safety notice closing Canadian airspace to Boeing 737 MAX aircraft operations until further notice. Air Canada’s cancellation and rebooking policies are in place with full fee waiver for affected customers.

We are working to rebook impacted customers as soon as possible but given the magnitude of our 737 MAX operations which on average carry nine to twelve thousand customers per day, customers can expect delays in rebooking and in reaching Air Canada call centres and we appreciate our customers’ patience. Customers are further advised to check the status of their flight on prior to going to the airport. Air Canada

WestJet announced that it is complying with Transport Canada’s decision to temporarily ground the Boeing 737 MAX fleet.

We respect the decision made by Transport Canada and are in the process of grounding the 13 MAX aircraft in our fleet. This decision has an impact on the travel plans of our WestJet guests and we ask for understanding as we work to rebook all guests affected as quickly as possible. Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO.

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