TORONTO – Ottawa on Wednesday grounded Boeing 737 Max 8 planes from its airspace, joining several other countries in temporarily banning the plane. The ban comes in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday that killed all 157 passengers and crew members. In October, 2018, an Indonesian Lion Air plane, a Boeing 737 Max 8 model, crashed moments after taking off into the Java sea, killing all 189 passengers and crew on board. The Sunday crash of the Ethiopian Airlines jet also occurred moments after taking off.
The Minister of Transportation, Marc Garneau stated that in light of new information received Wednesday at a press conference in Ottawa, the government moved to ban the planes from Canadian airspace until further notice. Before this announcement, Toronto-based Sunwing Airlines announced Tuesday that it had suspended the use of the model due to what it called “evolving commercial reason.”
With the two crashes of the Boeing model within five months, many countries including the European Union Civil Aviation which has 32 members, Singapore, Oman, Japan, Australia, Ethiopian, Indonesia and a host of other countries, have banned the model from flying until further notice amid safety concerns.
There are 37 of the Boeing model flown by the two major Canadian carriers with Air Canada boasting of 24 in its fleet and Calgary-based Westjet 13. This decision will mean that the two Airlines will have to adjust flight schedules to comply with the ban.
Ethiopian Airlines crashed six minutes after takeoff from the country’s capital of Addis Ababa. The pilot reportedly had flight control difficulties and asked to return to the airport. According to the airline CEO, the pilots have had additional training in light of the safety concerns raised by the first crash of this new model into the Java sea. Flight ET 302 was headed to Nairobi, Kenya with many UN employees and at least 19 Canadians, including a nine-month old infant, among the dead.