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Canadian airlines confident in Boeing s 737 Max 8, but fliers worry

Canadian airlines confident in Boeing s 737 Max 8, but fliers worry
Canada
Travellers have been reaching out to two major Canadian airlines with concerns about the safety of a type of aircraft involved in two deadly crashes in the past five months.

Both Air Canada and WestJet have received dozens of tweets from customers questioning their continued use of the Boeing 737 Max 8 in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines tragedy.

On Sunday, the Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed in clear weather minutes after takeoff, killing 157 people including 18 Canadians. Five months earlier, the same model of aircraft flown by Indonesias Lion Air plunged into the ocean and killed 189 people.

What do Air Canada, Westjet and SunWing know about their Boeing 737 Max Model 8 s that gives them the confidence to keep them flying while the Ethiopian, Indonesian and Chinese airlines ground theirs? another man tweeted .

Despite a growing number of airlines grounding the aircraft, including China, Australia, Indonesia, Mexico, and India, North American airlines have yet to follow suit.

Air Canada operates 24 Max 8 aircrafts while WestJet owns 13 of the aircraft in its fleet. Sunwing Airlines also has four Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, according to its website.

In a statement to CTV News, a spokesperson for Air Canada said the airline has been following the investigation closely.

These aircraft have performed excellently from a safety, reliability and customer satisfaction perspective, the statement read.

A spokesperson for WestJet said the company remains confident in the safety of their fleet.

We have flown five different variants of the Boeing 737 since 1996, and the fleet currently operates around 450 safe daily B737 departures, the airline said.

Canadian airlines have been trying to reassure customers worried about flying on one of the jets in the future with their safety records and the training their flight crews must complete.

In a statement to CTVNews.ca, a spokesperson for WestJet said passengers wishing to make changes to their reservation will be subject to the airlines normal change and cancellation policies.

CTV Vancouvers Penny Daflos reported that Canadian airlines have been telling customers their regular cancellation and rescheduling policies will still apply despite the crash.

The fact that the same type of plane went down shortly after takeoff in both the Ethiopia and Indonesia crashes has led to speculation about the aircrafts safety. However, experts have cautioned against drawing conclusions about the aircraft as it is still very early in the investigation into the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

Aviation analyst Phyl Durdey said nothing is definitive yet in terms of the cause of the crash.

We cant jump to conclusions and say Yes the airplanes at fault, he told CTV News Channel on Monday.

Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau told reporters that he would board a Boeing 737 Max 8 without hesitation when asked about Canadas response to the crash on Monday.

It was a sunny day, an experienced pilot, the plane was brand new. But we know little else, he said. I will not hesitate to take any action necessary when we discover what that cause is.

The ministers remarks followed a call by the Air Canada Pilots Association for Garneau to take proactive action to ensure the safety of the Canadian travelling public on Monday morning.
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