Today, Marc Garneau, the Transport Minister of Canada, said that the country has no plans to ground the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircrafts, however, he said that it is ready to “act immediately” to suspend the flights if new information surfaces indicating that there is indeed a problem.
The remarks of Garneau come as an increasing number of countries decide to suspend the operations of the plane following a crash in Ethiopia that killed all of the 157 passengers onboard. The accident comes only five months after another disaster in Indonesia involved the same model.
Garneau said that Canada had not received any new data that concerns the Ethiopian crash that would provoke it to ground the Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes, however, he said that all options were on the table.
During an interview in Montreal, he told reporters: “If we received information or explanations that indicate that there’s a problem … certainly we’ll act immediately.”
He added: “I asked my team to evaluate all available options, which includes possibly temporarily grounding some planes – the MAX 8 planes – so we’re ready to do so if we decide to do so.”
On Twitter, Garneau later said that he had cancelled all of his meetings and public events that are scheduled for today so that he could consult with a panel of civil aviation experts. The two main airlines of Canada, Air Canada and WestJet Airlines Ltd, operate a total of 37 737 MAX 8 planes.
Today, Air Canada has cancelled some of its scheduled flights that are bound to London after the United Kingdom closed its airspace to Boeing 737 Max 8s, the type of plane taht was involved in the deadly crash in Ethiopia.
Germany, Ireland, and France all followed the lead of the United Kingdom. Today, they also closed their airspace to that specific type of aircraft.
In a statement, Air Canada said that it was working to rebook the affected customers as soon as possible through its Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal hubs. It also said that affected customers could rebook their flights free of charge.
The airline said that it is confident in the safety of its operations and fleet.