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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. police watchdog group investigating after June 1 death of Kitimat man

The man was reported to have fallen a number of times while in police custody on May 30

Skeena MLA advocates for small LNG project in Terrace

Many questions unanswered about project, say opponents

CGL completes first in-field pipeline welds for Kitimat section of project

‘I never thought I’d live to see this day:’ Skeena MLA praises start of pipeline welding in Kitimat

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

Housing committee recommends District deny strata application for 1425 Nalabila Boulevard

Council is set to consider the matter at their June 1 meeting

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

Greater Victoria Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Most Read