Flight check: How to determine if you're booked on a Boeing 737 Max 8
Cillian O'Brien, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Wednesday, March 13, 2019 10:42AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 13, 2019 2:57PM EDT
Canada has banned Boeing 737 Max planes from its airspace following Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people.
Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced Wednesday that the Max 8 would be restricted from operating in Canadian air space.
Several hours later, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would be issuing an "emergency order to ground all 737 Max 8 and the 737 Max 9, and planes associated with that line."
Air passengers had reached out to Canadian airlines in recent days questioning their continued use of the Max 8. Eighteen Canadian citizens and several more permanent residents of Canada were killed in the crash.
Air Canada is grounding its 24 Max 8 aircraft, while WestJet’s fleet of 13 will also remain on the tarmac. Air Canada said its cancellation and rebooking policies are in place with full fee waiver for affected customers.
“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,” the airline said in a statement.
WestJet said it was contacting “impacted guests” to arrange alternative travel plans.
Airline customers can check their aircraft type with the airline or a travel agent, while online bookings show either the name of the aircraft or a three-letter or digit code.
The code for the 737 Max 8 is 7M8.
Websites including seatguru.com can provide a flight’s aircraft type by entering the airline, flight date and flight number.
The ‘details’ tab on the Air Canada website will tell you the aircraft type you’ll be flying on, clicking “flight details” on the WestJet website will bring up a page showing the aircraft code.
Air Canada was previously forced to cancel flights to London, England, after the U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority banned the aircraft from its airspace following the tragedy.
Since Sunday’s crash, the European Union and more than 50 countries around the world, including Australia, India, Singapore, Ethiopia, Indonesia and China, have grounded or closed their airspace to the relatively new Boeing plane.
In October, a Max 8 aircraft flown by Indonesia’s Lion Air plunged into the ocean and killed 189 people.
Garneau said a comparison of vertical fluctuations found a "similar profile" to the Lion Air crash.
He emphasized that the data is not conclusive but crossed a threshold that prompted Canada to bar the Max 8.
He said the new information indicated that the Ethiopian Airliner jet's automatic system kicked in to force the nose of the aircraft down after computer software determined it was too high.
He said that in the case of the Lion Air crash off Indonesia, the pilot fought against computer software that wanted to drop the nose of the plane.
At least one aviation expert told CTV News the Boeing jet is the gold standard in aircraft safety.
--- With files from The Canadian Press