Boeing 737 Max planes grounded in North America, elsewhere after Ethiopia crash
Published Tuesday, March 12, 2019 12:45PM EDT Last Updated Thursday, March 14, 2019 10:09AM EDT
Canada and the U.S. have joined a growing list of more than 50 countries around the world to ground the use of the Boeing 737 Max 8.
The move to remove the passenger jet from the skies comes just days after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane that killed 157 people on Sunday, less than six months after the same type of jet from Indonesia crashed into the ocean, killing 189.
Sunday’s crash claimed the lives of 18 Canadians, the second-highest of any country.
Transport Minister Marc Garneau said Wednesday that a "similar profile" of vertical fluctuations between the Ethiopian Airlines flight and the Lion Air crash led to the decision to ground the aircraft.
A number of Canadian airlines operate the Boeing 737 Max 8, including Air Canada, which has 24 of the jets, according to Transport Canada’s civil aircraft register.
Here is a list of the other countries and regions that have officially banned the Boeing 737 MAX 8 from flying:
The Civil Aviation Authority in Australia officially suspended the operation of the aircraft on Tuesday, though none of the country’s airlines operate the Boeing 737 MAX. SilkAir from Singapore and Fiji Airways are the only operators affected by the suspension in the country.
CASA is temporarily suspending operations of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into and out of Australia. Read more here: https://t.co/Y5lgimvBKq— CASA (@CASABriefing) March 12, 2019
Brazil’s Gol Airlines has grounded it’s seven Max 8 jets pending an investigation. The airline said it has used the aircraft for nearly 3,000 flights without issue.
Canadan closed its airspace to the Max 8. Transport Minister Marc Garneau said a comparison of vertical fluctuations found a "similar profile" to the Lion Air crash that killed 189 people in October. Eighteen Canadians lose their lives in Sunday's crash, the second highest number after Kenya.
Cayman Airways has suspended flights for its two Max 8 jets, which will cause some changes to the airline’s flight schedule, according to president and CEO Fabian Whoms.
The airline unveiled its newest Max 8 just last week.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China directed the aircraft to be grounded indefinitely on Monday. It said the order was "taken in line with the management principle of zero tolerance for security risks." Hong Kong also banned the operation of all 737 Max aircrafts "into, out of and over" its airspace as of Wednesday evening.
Egyptian aviation authorities have barred all Boeing 737 Max aircrafts from flying into, out of and over the country. Egypt doesn't have the aircrafts in its fleets and the Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority said it does not plan on having them in the future.
Ethiopian Airlines is awaiting the delivery of 25 more Max 8 jets, but has grounded its remaining four as a precaution following the crash.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is among those temporarily restricting the use of the Max 8 and Max 9 planes, stating in a press release Tuesday that it was a “precautionary measure.” The restrictions apply to all European Union airspace.
“EASA is continuously analyzing the data as it becomes available,” the EASA release said. “The accident investigation is currently ongoing, and it is too early to draw any conclusions as to the cause of the accident.”
Hong Kong has banned Boeing’s Max 8 jets for all departures, arrivals and flights over the region until further notice. The suspension impacts two airlines: India’s SpiceJet and Globus Airlines out of Russia.
Iceland Air has suspended the three Boeing 737 Max aircraft until further notice. The airline’s president and CEO Nels Bogason said the suspensions are not expected to impact operations.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation in India tweeted Tuesday that the Boeing 878-MAX planes have been officially grounded. “These planes will be grounded till appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations,” the agency wrote. “As always, passenger safety remains our top priority.”
DGCA has taken the decision to ground the Boeing 737-MAX planes immediately. These planes will be grounded till appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations. (1/2)— Ministry of Civil Aviation (@MoCA_GoI) March 12, 2019
Indonesia’s Director General of Air Transportation Polana B. Pramesti said the Max 8 planes would be temporarily grounded for inspection of safety inspections. A Max 8 plane crashed in Indonesia in October, killing 189.
Japan grounded all Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 jets, citing the Federal Aviation Administration's decision to cease flights because of "new information" indicating some similarities with a fatal Lion Air crash in October.
Malaysian authorities said Tuesday all flights on the aircraft were suspended. No Malaysian airlines use the Boeing 737 MAX 8, but the Civil Aviation Authority said that all foreign airlines are banned from flying the plane in Malaysia.
Mexican airline Aeromexico says it trusts the safety of the Max 8, but has decided to ground the six among their fleet. It has suspended all flights by Max 8 and Max 9 jets in its airspace.
New Zealand and Fiji have suspended flights involving the Boeing 737 Max 8 for both arrivals and departures until more is known about the Ethiopian Airlines flight. Fiji Airways is the region’s only affected airline.
The Public Authority for Civil Aviation in the Middle Eastern country of Oman said the aircraft would be “temporarily suspended.” State-owned Oman Air operates five Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.
The Panama-based Copa Airlines is suspending use of its six Max 8 aircraft until the cause of the crash is known. The airline plans to fill the void with some of the other planes in their fleet.
Singapore’s civil aviation authority said its grounding of Max 8 jets (and other models in the Max range) will be "reviewed as relevant safety information becomes available."
Comair, the South African operator of British Airways and Kulula, said it grounded all of its Max 8’s pending a consultation with Boeing and aircraft experts. It is not clear how many of the aircraft are in their fleet.
South Korean airline Eastar Jet said it has replaced each of its Max 8s with Boeing 737-800 planes for routes to Thailand and Japan. The airline added it hasn’t had any issue with the jets.
Turkish Airlines CEO Bilal Eksi said on Twitter that the airline would be suspending the Max 8 as of March 13. Eksi added the suspension would remain in place until the uncertainty around the plane’s safety is cleared.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
The United Arab Emirates has banned flights of both the Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 through its airspace. The Dubai government-owned FlyDubai has nine of the aircraft in their fleet and said it is “adjusting its schedule to minimize disruption to passengers."
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration grounded the Max 8 on Wednesday after investigators found similarities between the Ethiopian Airlines crash and the Lion Air crash from October. The agency says the suspension will remain in place pending a further investigation into the crash.
Vietnam has banned the Max planes from flying into their airspace until further notice. None of Vietnam’s airlines use the jet, but Korea's Eastar Jet, Thai Lion Air and Malaysia's Malindor Air regularly use the aircraft for flights into the country.
With files from the Associated Press