Canadians concerned airlines not grounding Boeings after deadly crash abroad

Mar 11 2019, 8:54 pm

Despite two fatal crashes over the past five months, Canadian airlines will not be grounding their Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleets.

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On March 10, an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 157 passengers and crew on board, including 18 Canadians.

Flight ET 302 took off on the morning of March 10, at 8:38 am local time, from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on route to Nairobi, Kenya. The airport lost contact with the plane just six minutes later at 8:44 am.

The plane involved in the crash was a Boeing 737 MAX 8, the same make and model of a plane that went down in Indonesia in October 2018.

Since the news of the crash, China has decided to ground all of its 737 fleet, joining Ethiopian Airlines which grounded its similar fleet soon after the accident.

In Canada, the Canadian Civil Aircraft Register shows airlines here have 41 of the Boeing 737 model.

Of those, 24 belong to Air Canada, 13 to WestJet, and 4 to Sunwing. The airlines say they are confident in the safety of the fleet.

Still, the decision to keep the planes in the air is not sitting well with some Canadians, who say the airlines here should follow suit and ground the planes while investigations and inspections are carried out.

As of Monday, authorities are still investigating what caused the plane to crash.

The cause of the crash is currently unknown. In a press conference on Sunday, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines — who had visited the crash site — stated:

It is too early to speculate the cause of the accident and further investigation will be carried out to find out the cause of the accident in collaboration with all stakeholders including Boeing, Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority and other international entities to maintain the international standard and information will be provided once the cause is identified.

A senior captain of the airlines was piloting the plane.

According to the airline, among the 149 passengers and eight crew members were 35 different nationalities, including 18 Canadians.

The B-737-800MAX had flown from Johannesburg to Addis earlier Sunday morning, and had undergone a “rigorous first check maintenance” on February 4, 2019.

The Airline has set up emergency hotlines for those seeking more information on the flight and those on board.