Canada grounds Boeing 737 Max 8 following Ethiopia fatal crash

Xinhua Published: 2019-03-14 07:19:08
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Canada is grounding all its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft and banning the jets from its airspace following the Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed all 157 people on board, including 18 Canadians.

[File Photo: IC]

[File Photo: IC]

Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau said Wednesday that his decision to ground the planes was made after a review of the evidence about the aircraft.

"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," Garneau said at a press conference.

Canada is joining a long list of countries in suspending Boeing 737 Max that has been involved in two deadly crashes since October. The U.K., the European Union, Australia, China, India, Ethiopia and other countries had already moved to bar the jet from their airspaces.

Garneau said the decision to issue the safety notice was made after his ministry received new evidence about multiple Boeing 737 Max 8 flights suggests a worrying correlation between the Ethiopian Airlines crash and that of a Lion Air flight involving the same type of aircraft in October.

Under certain circumstances, the planes' systems try to tilt their noses down, contrary to the efforts of pilots, a pattern that was seen in both flights before they crashed, he said.

"I would repeat once again that this is not the proof that this is the same root problem. It could be something else," he said.

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

On Monday, Garneau said it would be premature to ground all 41 of the Boeing 737 Max 8 planes currently owned by Canadian air carriers after the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

Out of the 41 jets, Air Canada has 24, followed by WestJet with 13 and Sunwing Airlines with four.

WestJet and Air Canada, which canceled its scheduled flights on Tuesday to and from London after Britain closed its airspace, said it will begin complying with the transport minister's direction.

The Toronto-based Sunwing Airlines said Tuesday night it would voluntarily ground its four Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft for "commercial reasons," such as airspace restrictions imposed by some destinations.

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