Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Oman, UAE grounds Boeing 737 MAXs after Ethiopia crash

Oman, UAE grounds Boeing 737 MAXs after Ethiopia crash

Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) says no Australian airlines operate the Boeing 737 MAX - although Virgin Australia has several on order - but two foreign airlines fly these aircraft to Australia.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the order on Wednesday was the result of "new evidence collected at the site and analyzed today" and "newly refined satellite data" that Canada had cited earlier in its decision to halt flights.

ASSOCIATED PRESSPresident Donald Trump has announced an immediate grounding of all Boeing 737 Max 8 and 737 Max 9 planes following two fatal crashes within five months.

The news caused mixed emotion for Vancouver resident Matt Dichter, 32, who was booked on a 737 Max 8 to Hawaii in April with his wife Ely for their honeymoon.

It said the department has been in close contact with the FAA and other the relevant organizations, including the two airlines, SpiceJet of India and Russia's Globus Airlines, that use the aircraft to operate flights into and out of Hong Kong International Airport.

"We were resolute in our position that we would not take action until we had data to support taking action", Elwell told reporters.

After the Lion Air crash, it was disclosed that the aircraft involved had experienced problems with a sensor which calculates the angle of flight.

In the last few days, countries across Europe and Asia grounded the planes.

United Airlines said nothing is more important than the safety of its customers and employees and that it will comply.

A spokeswoman for YVR, Zoe Weber, said Wednesday morning that there were longer than normal lineups.

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The Senate Commerce Committee also plans to hold a hearing as early as April.

Jay Shabat, a senior analyst at Skift Airline Weekly, said in an interview he expects business to return to normal at all three airlines relatively soon. Trump added that Boeing is an "incredible company" working "very hard" to find an answer to the recent tragedies.

WestJet, which has 13 Boeing 737 Max aircraft, said it's also working to rebook affected customers, but noted that 92 per cent of its 162-plane fleet remains in operation.

Trump called Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg on Wednesday to inform him that the United States was preparing to ground the fleet, a White House official said.

Shares of the Seattle-based company ended up 0.5 percent at $377.14, recovering from a more than 3 percent fall in the afternoon when the FAA announcement was made. The Air Line Pilots Association also backed the USA and Canadian regulatory agencies' decisions to ground the aircraft.

Southwest is the world's largest operator of the 737 MAX 8 with 34 jets, while American flies 24 MAX 8s and United 14 MAX 9s.

Dozens of countries had grounded the planes following Sunday's crash, which was less that five months after another deadly crash in Indonesia involving the same type of plane.

After last year's Lion Air disaster, Boeing issued guidance to pilots on how to manage the 737-Max's new computer-controlled stability system.

Shortly after, and possibly because, details of that telephone conversation surfaced, and with Canada bringing down the ban hammer, the FAA was allowed to ground 737 Maxes.

Boeing did not respond immediately to a request for comment, but it has previously said it provided appropriate information to pilots to use an existing procedure to handle the issue of erroneous data affecting the anti-stall system.

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