Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes are parked near Boeing Co.’s 737 assembly facility in Renton, Wash. on Nov. 14, 2018. In the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines tragedy, Canada’s two largest airlines say they are confident in the safety of the Boeing aircraft that makes up part of their fleets. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ted S. Warren

Canadians swamp airlines with safety concerns around Boeing 737 following crash

The accident raised concerns over parallels to a crash of the same model of aircraft in Indonesia last October

Canada’s major airlines are being inundated on social media with questions about the safety of their fleet in the wake of the fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday.

The accident, which killed all 157 aboard the Boeing 737 Max 8 — including 18 Canadians — raised concerns over parallels to a Lion Air crash of the same model of aircraft in Indonesia last October, killing 189 people.

Angie Hung, scheduled for a WestJet flight June 5 from Calgary to Halifax en route to Scotland for a Spice Girls concert, was one of scores of Canadians asking airlines if they planned to ground the Max 8, the plane listed on her flight.

“I am planning to tweet, ‘I love you mom and dad,’” she said in an interview, “in case something bad happens.”

“If I could afford to cancel and change it I would,” said Hung, 42.

Fernando Candido, an Edmonton-based elementary school teacher, said he flies up to 10 times per year.

“I’m kind of worried. I’m sure eventually I’ll have to use one of those planes,” said Candido, 58. “Maybe in Canada they should not fly those planes any more until they figure out those issues.”

The country’s two largest airlines said they are confident in the safety of the Boeing 737 Max 8.

Air Canada said in an email it has 24 Max 8 aircraft, which fly routes that include Vancouver to Montreal and Calgary to Vancouver.

“These aircraft have performed excellently from a safety, reliability and customer satisfaction perspective,” said spokeswoman Isabelle Arthur. “We continue to operate our normal B737 schedule.”

In response to concerns raised by social media users, WestJet Airlines Ltd. tweeted Monday that it is not grounding any of the 13 Max 8s in its fleet of 121 Boeing 737s.

“WestJet remains confident in the safety of our Boeing 737 fleet,” spokeswoman Morgan Bell said in an email. The airline is “working with Boeing to ensure the continued safe operation of our Max fleet,” she said.

The Calgary-based company has orders for 37 more 737s on the books.

WestJet has flown five different models of the 737 since the airline was founded in 1996, and now operates about 450 daily departures of the plane series, according to the company.

READ MORE: B.C. man among Ethiopian Airlines crash victims

READ MORE: Canadians mourn as victims of Ethiopian Airlines crash identified

The Boeing jetliner is relatively new, entering into service at both airlines in 2017.

Ethiopian Airlines as well as all Chinese and Indonesian airlines have grounded their Boeing 737 Max 8 planes indefinitely in the wake of the crash, which occurred after takeoff from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.

The Air Canada Pilots Association said it is “is actively engaged in monitoring the situation as it develops.”

The unions for Air Canada and WestJet flight crews declined to comment on the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302.

Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

The story of Rotary Richard

People have until April 6 to make their guess

B.C. minister says rural internet is ‘railroad of the 21st century’

Jinny Sims talks details about the $50-million provincial and possible $750-million federal funds

Local contribution to a global issue

Global Climate Strike for Future

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

B.C. man sentenced for tying up, assaulting and robbing another man at hotel

Gabriel Stephen Nelson robbed and assaulted travelling businessman in Nanaimo in 2017

B.C. girl and her toy monkey make videos to fight negativity on Facebook

Ava Ast created the Ava and Cello’s Good Deed Page last month

Deadline extended through April to nominate top B.C. educators

Second year of Premier John Horgan’s awards offers $3,000 bursary

Paramedic staff shortage at critical level: B.C. union

A number of units were out of service due to lack of staffing in Lower Mainland, union says

B.C. lottery winner being sued by Surrey co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Fraser Health under fire again for taxiing homeless man from Langley to Hope

Patient sent to Hope shelter because a spot in the man’s home community couldn’t be located

Dead sea lion discovered on Hornby Island shoreline

Reports indicate animal was shot in the head

Celina Caesar-Chavannes quits Liberal caucus, sits as independent MP

The Whitby, Ont., MP has been a vocal supporter of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott

Most Read