Boeing Suspends Deliveries of 737 Max Jets


Canada has grounded Boeing's 737 MAX jets over safety concerns and that has caused a number of flight cancellations at the Calgary International Airport.

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said Sunday the flight's captain Yared Mulugeta Getachew, 29, was an experienced aviator with more than 8,000 flight hours. Sunday's Ethiopian Airlines crash claimed 157 lives, including nine Britons.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency order grounding the planes Wednesday.

In October, a Lion Air jet crashed in Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board.

The Max jets are likely to be idle for weeks while Boeing tries to assure regulators around the world that the planes are safe.

The FAA said on Wednesday a software upgrade being worked on following the Lion Air crash would take months to complete.

In a research note, Bank of America analyst Ronald Epstein said he sees a "definitive time line" for the fixes after the investigation into the latest crash is finished. Some industry officials think the plane maker and USA regulators may be forced to answer questions about the plane's design.

Similarities between them have led to attention focusing on technology created to stop the jets from stalling.

The National Transportation Safety Board in the U.S., where Boeing is based, said it will send three investigators to France to help download and analyse the flight recorders.

There is a back and forth regarding investigations to unravel the exact cause of the March 10 Ethiopian Airline crash in the town of Bishoftu in the Oromia region.

In Ethiopia, which lacks the forensic capabilities of other countries, a spokesman for Ethiopian Airlines said the black box voice and data recorders recovered on Monday had been sent overseas for analysis.

Air Canada has 24 MAX 8 aircraft, which it uses mainly for domestic and USA routes, and cancelled London-bound flights from Halifax and St. John's, N.L., after the United Kingdom banned all Boeing MAX 8 jets from its airspace.

"I think Ethiopia wanted to choose an investigative partner that clearly didn't have a dog in the fight", Goelz said.

Southwest and American each said on Thursday they were flying empty MAX aircraft to be parked at different maintenance locations during the ban.

The delayed flight ET302 took off from Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa at 08:38 local time (05:38 GMT) and was bound for Kenyan capital Nairobi. Blue plastic sheeting covered the wreckage of the plane.

The Federal Aviation Administration said findings from the crash site near Addis and "newly refined satellite data" warranted "further investigation of the possibility of a shared cause for the two incidents".

The French announcement resolved uncertainty over the fate of the two recorders after Germany's BFU said it had declined a request to handle them because it could not process the new type of recorder used on the 737 MAX jets, in service since 2017.

Many industry watchers had expected the airline to hand the black box over to the plane manufacturer, Boeing.

The MCAS, which stands for Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System, is created to prevent the plane stalling when making steep turns under manual control.