Elizabeth Warren urges FAA to ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes

"We are working to rebook impacted customers as soon as possible but given the magnitude of our 737 MAX operations which on average carry nine to twelve thousand customers per day, customers can expect delays in rebooking and in reaching Air Canada call centres and we appreciate our customers' patience".

Another Boeing 737 MAX 8, flown by Indonesia's Lion Air, crashed soon after takeoff from Jakarta in October a year ago, killing 189 people.

For the past several months and in the aftermath of Lion Air Flight 610, Boeing has been developing a flight control software enhancement for the 737 MAX, created to make an already safe aircraft even safer.

The airline Corporate Communications Manager, Mr Chris Iwarah, said any decision about cancelling the order would be premature.

"It's unfortunate, but we must put safety at the top of the agenda" he said, confirming that it affects domestic carriers including Air Canada, WestJet Airlines Ltd. and Sunwing, as well as global airlines.

Boeing, which makes the Max8, issued a statement saying it supports the action to temporarily ground the plane.

The decision will affect Air Canada and WestJet, which operate 24 and 13 of the 737 Max jets.

Air Canada 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.

In the wake of Sunday's fatal Boeing 737 MAX airplane crash in Ethiopia, President Donald Trump took computer scientists to task today for making airplanes "too complex to fly". Pilots could counteract the sudden downward tilt by flipping two switches and manually holding the aircraft stable, the planemaker said. Garneau, a former astronaut who flew in the space shuttle, emphasized that the data is not conclusive but crossed a threshold that prompted Canada to bar the Max 8.

Authorities around the world have grounded the new version of the single-aisle workhorse amid concerns that similarities between the African tragedy and an October crash in Indonesia could point to an inherent safety risk. The crash occurred shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Spokesperson Tyler McAfee said Winnipeg sees about 50 flights involving the planes a month.

It says the software upgrade "will be deployed across the 737 MAX fleet in the coming weeks". Last year, a Lion Air jet went down in Indonesia, killing 189 people.

Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in NY, said the grounding gives Boeing time to address any problems and not face another potential disaster. The biggest impact could be on future deliveries given Boeing has almost 5,000 more 737 MAXs on order.

The new variant of the world's most-sold modern passenger aircraft was viewed as the likely workhorse for airlines for decades.

Earlier in the week, Garneau had suggested that grounding the jets would be a "premature" decision, taking a stance similar to the US' FAA which has still not taken any action against the American-made aircraft.

"We discussed the departure at length and I reviewed in my mind our automation setup and flight profile but can't think of any reason the aircraft would pitch nose down so aggressively", one pilot said.

  • Jon Douglas