Canada Bans Boeing 737 Max, U.S. Remains Last Holdout

 - March 13, 2019, 12:58 PM
The first Boeing 737 Max 8 takes off for its maiden flight in 2016. (Photo: Boeing)

Following the lead of most of the world’s aviation authorities, Canada’s Ministry of Transportation on Wednesday moved to ban the Boeing 737 Max from flying in its airspace. Transport minister Marc Garneau cited satellite tracking data that shows certain similarities between the Ethiopian Airlines Max 8 that crashed on Sunday outside Addis Ababa, killing 157, and the October 29 crash of a Lion Air Max 8 into the Java Sea, which killed 189. The U.S. now stands as the last country to allow Boeing 737 Max operations now that Canada has closed its airspace to the model.

“Following advice from Transport Canada civil aviation experts, as a precautionary measure, I am issuing a safety notice to address this issue,” said Garneau. “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.”

Canadian airlines have taken delivery of 41 Max jets. Some operators had already faced operating restrictions imposed at some destinations by other jurisdictions. For example, Air Canada canceled London-bound flights from Halifax and St. John’s after the UK closed its airspace to Max 8 operations on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, U.S. airlines continue to fly the Max 8 domestically following the Federal Aviation Administration’s latest statement indicating that a review shows “no systemic performance issues” and no basis for grounding the aircraft.