Toronto-based Sunwing airlines is temporarily grounding its fleet of 4 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, the first Canadian carrier to make the move.
The low-cost airline is citing “evolving commercial reasons unrelated to safety” including airspace restrictions being imposed by some of its partner destinations for the decision.
A growing number of countries have banned the Boeing plane from their airspace following the deadly crash in Ethiopia on Sunday that killed 157 people including 18 Canadians.
It is the second fatal crash involving the new model 737 in just five months.
On Tuesday, France, Germany, Ireland and several other countries all followed the U.K.’s lead and also closed their airspace to that specific type of aircraft. By the afternoon, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) had grounded all Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 737 MAX 9 airplanes, and banned all commercial flights of those models performed by third-country operators from EU airspace.
Air Canada has 24 of the new Boeing plans in its fleet while WestJet has 13, they continue to operate although Air Canada has been forced to cancel some flights to and from London.
Sunwing was operating four of the Boeing 737 MAX 8s, having taken delivery of the first one in May 2018, in still has two more on order.
A statement from Sunwing reads “We have confidence in the investigative process as well as the handling of this matter by Transport Canada and other Canadian operators of the MAX 8”
Sunwing offers scheduled and chartered services to the US, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America,
The airline says it is in the process of revising its flying schedule to accommodate the temporary removal of the aircraft that it says makes up less than 10% of its fleet.
with files from CBC