Potential for Delays After Grounding of All Boeing 737 Max 8 Planes

Air Canada has 24 MAX 8 aircraft, which it uses mainly for domestic and US routes, and cancelled London-bound flights from Halifax and St. John's, N.L., after the United Kingdom banned all Boeing MAX 8 jets from its airspace.

Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) on Thursday issued a directive suspending all commercial flight operations of Boeing 737-8 and 737-9 planes, in the wake of two deadly air crashes involving Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in less than five months.

Garuda now operates one Boeing 737 MAX 8, but the plane has been grounded along with 10 MAX jets owned by Lion Air Group, as per the government's instructions.

A Boeing 737 Max 8 was on Sunday in Ethiopia crashed.

However, there have been incidents of pilots reporting that the system tipped the aircraft's nose downwards within minutes of take-off, forcing them to step in to stop the plane from dropping. The erratic flight path appeared similar to a fatal Lion Air crash in October.

The crash site of the Ethiopian Airlines
RetuersThe crash site of the Ethiopian Airlines plane

On Wednesday, both Canada and the USA. announced the aircraft would be temporarily grounded in North America, citing concerns stemming from a deadly plane crash in Ethiopia on Sunday that killed 157 people, including 18 Canadians.

Both crashes remain under investigation, but a preliminary investigation of the Lion Air crash showed pilots fighting with an automatic safety system for control of the jet.

In the earlier accident, a safety feature on the Boeing aircraft was repeatedly trying to put the plane into a dive as a result of a malfunction.

The 737, which first entered service in the late 1960s, is the aviation industry's best-selling model and Boeing's top earner. According to Bloomberg, Lion Air is planning to scrap its $22 billion order for 200 Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes and switch to Airbus. The US president said safety was of paramount concern. Ethiopian Airlines CEO said the pilots had complained about "flight control problems".

Japan Airlines Co. has no plans to acquire the 737 Max 8. Calgary-based WestJet Airlines Ltd.'s fleet includes 13 737 Max planes. "We view the interruptions from the 737 Max grounding as a temporary one", he said in a note to clients.

  • Tracy Klein