Canada banning all Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes over safety concerns

Canadian transportation officials said Wednesday they were banning all Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes from the country’s airspace until further notice over safety concerns.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau made the announcement at a news conference, saying the decision was made after a review of the latest data available on the jet, the same aircraft that crashed in Ethiopia and Indonesia, the Toronto Star reported.

The ban came after Toronto-based Sunwing Airlines announced late Tuesday that it was grounding its four Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft following the crash in Addis Ababa that killed all 157 people on board, including 18 Canadians and eight Americans.

More than 40 countries including the entire EU have suspended flights by the plane — but not the US.

China ordered its airlines to ground the planes — they had 96 MAX 8 jets in service, more than one-fourth of the roughly 370 MAX jets in circulation.

The European Aviation Safety Agency said that “at this early stage” of the more recent investigation, “it cannot be excluded that similar causes may have contributed to both events.”

But the US has taken no action that could harm Boeing, which donated $1 million to President Trump’s inauguration and does billions in business for the US military.

The Federal Aviation Administration cautioned against comparing the two crashes or assuming that they were related — though both occurred on takeoff in similar situations.

“External reports are drawing similarities” between the crashes, the agency said in a statement.

“However, this investigation has just begun and to date, we have not been provided data to draw any conclusions or take any actions.”

The agency has been criticized for its inaction.

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said he was concerned that international aviation regulators were providing more information to the flying public than the FAA.

Critics have also said the FAA is too cozy with the industry that it is supposed to regulate.

While defending the MAX as safe, the company promised to upgrade some flight control software “in the coming weeks.”

Others didn’t want to take any chances.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which represents more than 26,000 flight attendants at American Airlines, called on CEO Doug Parker to “strongly consider grounding these planes until an investigation can be performed.”

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