13 MAR 2019: UPDATED 13.50:  Sunwing announced last night that they are temporarily suspending the operations of their four Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Air Canada also cancelled at least two Atlantic Canada flights to England aboard Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft  amid the continuing fallout from Sunday's Ethiopian Airlines crash.   

Sunwing said that while the FAA has issued a statement of continued air-worthiness of the Boeing 737 Max 8 and, "we have confidence in the investigative process as well as the handling of the matter by Transport Canada and other Canadian operators of the MAX 8.  For evolving commercial reasons unrelated to safety including airspace restrictions being imposed by some of our partner destinations, Sunwing Airlines has taken the decision to temporarily suspend the operations of our 4 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft."


Sunwing says it is in the process of revising its flying schedule to accommodate the temporary removal of the MAX aircraft from service and it will endeavour to minimize the imact of the schedule changes, which it believes achievable given that the MAX 8 makes up less than 10 percent of its fleet.

Sunwing Airlines supports Transport Canada on their decision relating to the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and will continue to follow their lead on this matter. We are finalizing a revised schedule to accommodate the temporary removal of our MAX aircraft from service and we appreciate the patience of our retail partners and customers while we work to communicate these updates.  We will endeavor to minimize the impact of these schedule changes and we will not be cancelling any flights as a result.

 Air Canada

Air Canada cancelled London-bound flights from Halifax and St. John's after the United Kingdom banned all Boeing Max 8 jets in its airspace. Air Canada said Tuesday it was working to rebook passengers through its Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto hubs.

Meanwhile at Halifax Stanfield International Airport on Tuesday afternoon, passengers arriving on an Air Canada flight from London - which took off before the British ban - gave mixed reactions about being on the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.

Angela Taylor, whose daughter was flying for the first time alone on the plane Tuesday, said she felt the Max 8 aircrafts should be grounded in Canada.

“I was a bit perturbed Air Canada hadn't suspended flights when Australia is not even letting any in or out,” said Taylor, saying she was concerned when she learned her 22-year-old daughter would be flying on that plane.

“You might be on the bandwagon, but for safety? Come on.”

After her arrival, Taylor's daughter Bryony said she wasn't aware at the time that she was on Boeing's 737 Max 8, and may not have boarded if she had known.

“I'm a nervous flyer anyway, so that would have put me over the edge,” said Bryony Taylor, who had been away for three months.

But Patricia Little, who was on the same flight as Taylor, said flying on the Max 8 didn't worry her in the least.

“I think it's a whole lot of hype. I think there's hundreds of thousands of planes that go, only one or two of them crash,” said Little of Saint John, N.B.

“Get a grip. You could die walking out there to your car.”

Several other countries have taken the same step as Britain, including France, Germany, Australia and Ireland, and despite insisting on Tuesday that such a ban in Canada is premature until investigators have more information on the cause of Sunday's crash, Transport Minister Marc Garneau issued a ban on the Boeing 737 MAX8 on Wednesday morning.  

See story.

Ed. Note.: An early version of this story used YHX instead of YHZ as the airport code for Halifax.  That was a typo and was caught quickly - though obviously not quickly enough!  Apologies to Halifax Stanfield International Airport.


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