Friday, 22 March, 2019

Canada grounds Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft

Norwegian Air Shuttle to demand Boeing pay for grounding of planes Pilots didn’t trust the Boeing Max 8 and now flyers are rejecting them
Andrew Cummings | 15 March, 2019, 00:58

As of Tuesday night, only Canada and the USA had not grounded the aircraft following Sunday's plane crash just minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

Boeing, which maintained that its planes were safe to fly, said it supported the move to temporarily ground 737 MAX flights.

The crash of Lion Air Flight 610 shortly after takeoff from Jakarta last October killed all 189 people on board.

Indonesia's flag carrier wants to cancel its order for 49 Boeing 737 Max 8 jets after the airline lost confidence in the model following two crashes, according to President Director I Gusti Ngurah Askhara Danadiputra.

The full extent of the impact of the bans on worldwide travel routes was unclear.

Air Canada has 24 Max 8 aircraft (out of 184 in its main fleet), which it uses mainly for domestic and US routes, while Calgary-based WestJet Airlines Ltd. has 13 Max 8s (out of about 150 planes).

"We make our own decisions in Canada and occasionally those decisions may be different from our colleagues south of the border", Garneau said.

The EU aviation safety agency also closed European airspace to MAX planes. In a dramatic development, the European Aviation Safety Agency has split with the Federal Aviation Administration in banning the Max, leaving the U.S. regulator isolated in insisting that it's still safe to fly.

United States carriers have so far appeared to maintain confidence in Boeing, which has been ordered by the FAA to make changes to flight systems and pilot training procedures.

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It said the ban was a "precautionary measure" and that the GCAA would monitor and reassess the situation as more information on the latest incident was obtained.

Vietnam, New Zealand and Hong Kong joined them on Wednesday. Some are telling airlines not to let the plane enter their airspace.

The Max jets are likely to be idle for weeks while Boeing tries to assure regulators around the world that the planes are safe.

Garneau said satellite tracking data received overnight suggests possible "similarities" between the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes.

Air Canada said in a statement that it would comply immediately with the order, and attempt to rebook passengers from the Max jets, which typically have more than 160 seats.

Thomas Anthony, head of the Aviation Safety and Security Program at the University of Southern California, said increasing automation of planes means crews have less experience flying manually.

If the recorders indicate a manufacturing problem or a software glitch in the anti-stall system, the planes could stay on the tarmac for a long time.

"There is no capacity here so the black box will be sent elsewhere for analysis".

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