Despite two fatal crashes over the past five months, Canadian airlines will not be grounding their Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleets.
- BC man identified as one of the victims in deadly plane crash
- Canadian airlines not grounding Boeing 737 Max 8 fleets following Ethiopian crash
- 18 Canadians among the dead after Ethiopian Airlines flight crashes just after takeoff
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.
@AirCanada are your 737MAX pilots aware of the Boeing-installed anti-stall software in the Max 8 that has been implicated in one and perhaps two multi-fatality crashes? Have they been specifically trained on how to overcome it if necessary? Are you inspecting your Max8 fleet?
— Jim Maclean (@CrustyMaclean) March 11, 2019
@AirCanada . I will be flying between YYC to YVR later this month and the planes you are using is 737MAX8 . Any plans to change that? I understand you are not grounding them but what about customer safety? 2 crashes in 5 mths
— Anita Dramowicz (@AnitaIpDramowic) March 11, 2019
— Cathy Silvers (@csilvers90) March 11, 2019
@AirCanada do the right thing and ground the 737 MAX 8 – I booked my flight next week with you last summer and the flight at that time was a different plane from your fleet – do the right thing. https://t.co/6OByyX4f2o
— Judie B (@daisytravels) March 11, 2019
@AirCanada are you grounding any Boeing Max flights today or are they still on schedule?
— Mark Bennett (@MarkBennett) March 11, 2019
@AirCanada I am flying with AirCanada this August to San Francisco and I will be flying on a Boeing 737 max 8. Is there any way to change my flight? I am concerned about my safety.
— MarieKS (@MarieKS17) March 11, 2019
— Terri Green (@girlgreener) March 11, 2019
— Matty Bones (@mattaustralia) March 11, 2019
@WestJet what are your passengers options if they find they are booked on #737MAX ? I know I’d feel much better if the airline I trusted to fly with erred on the side of safety and temporarily grounded until more was known @CTA_gc @AirCanada
— Kent Brown (@kent_brown) March 11, 2019
@WestJet just found out an upcoming flight of ours will be on a Max 8 plane, and don’t feel safe having to be on the flight. I tried to call to express concerns and the agent wouldn’t allow me to talk to anyone else, wouldn’t document our concerns, and actually hung up on me
— Sonder + Stone (@sonderandstone) March 11, 2019
@WestJet is it possible for me to change my flight (and not get charged for it) because I really don’t want to fly on a 737 Max 8 after the crash. I am not doing well about this.
— ϟїη Ðαḯ ♥♫ █♥█ ツ💋 (@sindai) March 11, 2019
@WestJet just wondering how you’re ensuring the Max 8’s are safe to fly given two have crashed in the past 6 months?
— Sink Or Twin (@sinkortwin) March 11, 2019
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.
Airport emergency hotline
(251)11 5 17 87 33
(251)115 17 47 35
(251)11 5 17 41 00
For all information necessary
(251)11 5 17 89 45
(251)11 5 17 89 87
(251)11 5 17 82 31
(251)11 5 17 85 58
— Ethiopian Airlines (@flyethiopian) March 10, 2019