With the announcement on Wednesday by Hadi Sirika, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Aviation that all airlines operating in the country must suspend the use of Boeing 737, Max 8 and 9, the trend goes global.
Since last Sunday the Ethiopian Airliner Boeing 737 Max crashed a little after take-off from Addis Ababa heading to Kenya, ban of the aircraft after its second similar crash in about four months has spread like wildfire.
The ban by Nigeria as announced comes to over 30 countries and close to 45 airlines that have fallen in line with the panic measure trend.
An AP report from Daily Mail listed several countries and airlines that have keyed into the ban measure to make the air safer for travellers
AP reported that;
The United Arab Emirates, a key international travel hub, has barred the Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 from its airspace following the crash of a similar jetliner in Ethiopia.
The Emirates’ General Civil Aviation administration made the announcement late Tuesday night.
It cited the similarities between Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines flight and another by Indonesia’s Lion Air last year for its decision.
The budget carrier FlyDubai, owned by the Dubai government, uses the aircraft as a workhorse of its fleet.
FlyDubai said in a statement “is adjusting its schedule to minimise disruption to passengers.”
It flies 11 Boeing 737 MAX 8s and two MAX 9s.
New Zealand and Fiji have suspended Boeing 737 Max 8 flights in and out of the two countries following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jetliner.
The decisions affect only one operator, Fiji Airways. No New Zealand airlines use the Max 8 planes.
Much of the world, including the entire European Union and Australia, has grounded the Boeing jetliner from their airspace, leaving the United States as one of the few remaining operators of the plane involved in two deadly accidents in just five months.
Graeme Harris, a director at New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority, said the decision followed discussions with other aviation authorities.
Fiji Airways and Fiji’s Civil Aviation Authority said they would ground the fleet until more information is known about the cause of the Ethiopian Airlines accident..
The union for Air Canada flight attendants says the company is allowing flight attendants who don’t want to fly on Boeing 737 Max airplanes to be reassigned and the union says they want that option to continue.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees issued a statement Tuesday asking the company to put the safety of passengers and crew first.
Wesley Lesosky, the president of the union’s Air Canada component, says the union is calling on Air Canada “to at a minimum continue to offer reassignment to crew members who do not want to fly on this type of airplane.” Union spokesman Philippe Gagnon says that option is currently being offered.
Before clearing his schedule to meet with experts, Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau said he has no plans to ground Canada’s fleet of 737 Max aircraft, but that “all options are on the table.”
Boeing’s CEO has spoken with President Donald Trump and voiced his confidence that plane maker’s 737 Max is safe.
The call Tuesday came as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration continues to back the airworthiness of the 737 Max despite a growing number of countries grounding the aircraft in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines crash over the weekend.
The FAA says its review has so far not turned up any basis for grounding the jets.
Boeing said CEO Dennis Muilenburg spoke with Trump and expressed “his confidence in the safety of the 737 Max.” The White House confirmed the two talked but did not disclose the content of the conversation.
12:20 a.m. Wednesday
Icelandair Group says it has temporarily suspended operations of its three Boeing 737 Max aircraft until further notice.
President and CEO Bogi Nels Bogason said Tuesday that the company will follow developments closely and work with local, European and U.S. authorities on any steps that need to be taken.
Bogason said, however, that based available information, Icelandair’s safety processes and the training of its crew, the company is confident of the safety of the aircraft.
He said the temporary suspension won’t impact the company’s operations, as it only affects three aircraft out of a fleet of 33.
11:25 p.m. Tuesday
Former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says the U.S. should ground the Boeing 737 Max aircraft, just as his agency halted flights of another Boeing plane six years ago because of safety concerns.
LaHood was transportation secretary in 2013 when the department grounded the Boeing 787 because of overheating lithium-ion battery packs. The planes were idled for less than a month, until Boeing crafted new fire-resistant compartments around the batteries.
LaHood says current Secretary Elaine Chao should do the same thing, even if it means overruling the FAA, which has taken no action despite dozens of other countries banning the plane from their skies.
He says that Chao has the authority to suspend the 737 Max and require inspections by both FAA and Boeing personnel.
Kenya lost more citizens than anyone in the Ethiopian Airlines crash, and its transport minister is now trying to reassure a grieving country that no Kenyan airline has the Boeing 737 Max 8 plane in its fleet.
James Macharia in a statement late Tuesday also says “no foreign carrier is currently operating the aircraft type in Kenyan airspace.” The statement appears to stop short of joining many countries in closing airspace to the plane.
As families of the 32 Kenyans killed seek answers, the minister says Kenya’s government is working with Ethiopian Airlines to help relatives travel to Ethiopia’s capital.
A global team of investigators is looking into the cause of the crash that killed 157 people.
India says it is immediately grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 planes after Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines crash.
A statement late Tuesday says the planes will be grounded till appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations.
The statement does not say how many planes are affected.
India says it continues to “consult closely with regulators around the world, airlines and aircraft manufacturers to ensure passenger safety.”