Minister of Transportation Marc Garneau has announced the suspension of flight operations involving Boeing Model 737 MAX 8 and Model 737 MAX 9 airplanes across Canada beginning on Wednesday, March 13, until further notice. The directive follows the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and other countries' orders to ban the Boeing 737 MAX-type aircraft after the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on Sunday, March 10, which killed all 157 people onboard a Boeing Model 737 MAX 8. Airlines in multiple countries have also grounded flights slated to use Boeing Model 737 MAX-type aircraft. Many are conducting inspections of their 737 MAX fleets and are awaiting further results of the Flight 302 investigation. Significant associated flight disruptions - including delays, cancelations, and reroutes - are to be expected.
In the US, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a statement on Tuesday, March 12, reaffirming the 737 MAX-type aircraft's airworthiness. The US and Panama are currently the only countries operating the 737 MAX-type in their airspace.
The following countries, in addition to those under the jurisdiction of EASA, have temporarily banned Boeing Model 737 MAX-type aircraft from their respective airspace:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
In addition to carriers under the jurisdiction of the EASA and the countries listed above, the following countries and airlines have grounded their Boeing 737 MAX planes:
- Argentina - Aerolineas Argentinas (five planes)
- Brazil - GOL (seven planes)
- Cayman Islands - Cayman Airways (two planes)
- China - 102 planes total on 9 Air (three planes), Air China (15 planes), China Eastern (three planes), China Southern (26 planes), Fuzhou Airlines (two planes), Hainan Airlines (11 planes), Kunming Airlines (two planes), Lucky Air (three planes), OKAir (two planes), Shandong Airlines (seven planes), Shanghai Airlines (12 planes), Shenzen Airlines (six planes), Xiamen Air (10 planes)
- Ethiopia - Ethiopian Airlines (four planes)
- Fiji - Fiji Airways (two planes)
- Indonesia - Garuda (one plane), Lion Air (10 planes)
- Kazakhstan - SCAT Airlines (one plane)
- Mexico - Aeromexico (six planes)
- Mongolia - MIAT Mongolian Airlines (one plane)
- Morocco - Royal Air Maroc (one plane)
- South Africa - Comair (one plane)
- South Korea - Eastar Jet (two planes)
- Russia - S7 AIrlines (two planes)
- TUI (16 planes)
Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 flying from Addis Ababa to Nairobi crashed shortly after takeoff on March 10, killing all 157 people on board. It is not yet known what caused the crash and an investigation is underway. The same model of plane, a Boeing 737 MAX 8, was also involved in a fatal Lion Air crash in October 2018 that killed all 189 people on board.
Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor developments to the situation, anticipate flight disruptions (including delays and cancelations) over the coming days, and maintain flexible travel itineraries. Contact your airline directly for more information.
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