Garneau Announces Banning Of Boeing Max 8 From Canadian Airspace In Light Of New Data
Photo:Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/Getty Images
Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced that Canada will also restrict commercial operation of the Boeing 737 Max 8 in Canada and Canadian airspace.
The decision, he explained during a press conference on Wednesday, was made after reviewing new satellite tracking data that indicated similarities between the most recent crash of the Max 8 in Ethiopia and the Lion Air crash of the same plane in October of 2018. Though, Garneau said that there was not yet conclusive proof that the two crashes were caused by the same issue.
Canadian leisure carrier Sunwing announced late yesterday that it had grounded its four Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft. According to the company, the move was made for “evolving commercial reasons,” which in this case could very well have been that some of the countries to which Sunwing flies had banned the craft from their airspace. The outright airspace ban, which has been implemented by the U.K. and EU and sun destinations such as Mexico and the Cayman Islands as well, is an interesting move. Effectively, it takes the decision out of the airlines’ hands, giving airlines such as Sunwing not much choice.
Later on Wednesday, the U.S. announced their ban of the airplane and took it a step further, issuing an emergency order to ground the Max 8, Max 9 and planes associated with that line.
President Trump, who announced the ban, said that both the FAA and Boeing were “in agreement with the action” and explained that any of the banned models that were currently in the air would be grounded after landing at their destination.
“Pilots have been notified, airlines have been all notified. Airlines are agreeing with this. The safety of the American people and all people is our paramount concern,” Trump said.
Ahead of Garneau’s announcement, Air Canada flight attendants voiced their concern about the safety of the aircraft, via its union, who stated that their members did not want to be forced to fly in the Max 8 airplanes.
Before the announcement, Air Canada had already cancelled several flights to London, England after the UK closed its airspace to the Boeing 737 Max 8 in wake of the deadly crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302.
The investigation of the Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crash , in which 157 passengers and crew were killed when it crashed after take-off from Addis Ababa en route to Nairobi, is still unfolding.
Investigators recovered both black boxes from the doomed aircraft, in the hopes of finding out what exactly happened. This is the second time in less than 6 months that this type of Boeing plane — one of its most popular and brand new models — has been involved in a fatal crash. In October 2018, a Lion Air flight crashed into the Java Sea just minutes after taking off from an Indonesian airport killing everyone on board; Ethiopian’s flight practically mirrors the event, with the captain requesting to return to Addis Ababa shortly after its ascent into the Ethiopian sky. In both catastrophic events, everyone on board was killed.
An American representative of a pilot’s association in that country said that there were safety tweaks and retraining that was necessary for pilots when the new aircraft was introduced to big carriers such as American Airlines and, yet, Boeing did not include key safety operating instructions for the new craft upon delivery.