Aviation

BOEING UDATE: US and Canada finally boycott MAX 8 aircraft, while Melbourne manufacturer could suffer

Christian Fleetwood

The US and Canada have joined the global boycott of Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, following the Ethiopian Airlines disaster which claimed the lives of 157 people.

As reported by CNN, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) identified similarities between the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight and the Lion Air crash in Indonesia, leading the agency to ground all Boeing 737 Max planes on Wednesday.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the United States will ground all Boeing 737 Max planes immediately, becoming the last country to boycott the aircraft after the fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash.

“Pilots have been notified, airlines have been all notified. Airlines are agreeing with this. The safety of the American people and all people is our paramount concern,” Trump said from the White House.

It follows concerns voiced by Trump on Twitter yesterday that airplanes had become “far too complex to fly”.

CBC has also reported that Canada is banning all MAX 8 flights from its national airspace, and grounding all MAX 8 aircraft.

“This safety notice restricts commercial passenger flights from any air operator, both domestic and foreign, of the Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 aircraft from arriving, departing, or overflying Canadian airspace,” Transport Minister Marc Garneau told reporters yesterday.

The move follows mounting pressure from the US’s Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), who had been calling for American Airlines to follow the lead of more than 40 countries around the world by grounding its Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes.

The two nations were among the last to holdout on temporarily banning the aircraft, following the deadly Ethiopian crash earlier this week.

With the recent deadly crash in Ethiopia and the Lion Air flight disaster of October last year, a combined 346 people have died on Boeing 737 MAX 8 model planes.

In the lead up to America’s ban of the MAX 8, ABC News reported that airline pilots on at least two US flights had raised concerns that an automated system seemed to cause their Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes to tilt down suddenly. The pilots told ABC News that these flights occurred last year.

In November last year, a report based on black box data from the Indonesian Lion Air jet disaster, which resulted in the deaths of all of its 189 passengers, showed the pilots of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 struggled to maintain control, as an automatic safety system repeatedly forced the plane’s nose down.

Stuff reported the data also cited equipment failures and the airline’s safety measures as factors in the disaster.

The MAX 8 is currently banned in more than 40 countries around the world, with Australia, China and the European Union among the earliest to boycott the aircraft.

Impact from Boeing disaster could hit home even harder

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported the recent Ethiopian Airlines crisis could hit Boeing’s manufacturing plant in Melbourne, where a new production line has been set up to make a key component of the 737 MAX 8.

The uncertainty comes as Boeing’s factory in Port Melbourne is set to boost production on its AT winglets for MAX aircraft, with its first delivery of wing-ends due to be shipped to the United States next month.

SMH reported that Boeing’s factory in Melbourne employs about 1100 people, and is also the sole site globally for assembling the hinged trailing edge, called ailerons, for the wings of all 737 series aircraft.

With the recent disasters surrounding the 737 MAX 8, and uncertainty over its future for the manufacturer, the Melbourne factory could be at risk of a future stall in the aircraft’s production.

Boeing has announced it will release new flight control software in the wake of a second crash involving its 737 MAX fleet.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Tourism

John O’Sullivan on Experience Co.’s reset, travel’s recovery and Westbury’s “appalling” comments

by Huntley Mitchell

Travel Weekly has gone one-on-one with Experience Co. CEO and former Tourism Australia boss John O’Sullivan. As in interview him – not verse him in an online game of chess or Battleship.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Labor senator calls for corporate watchdog to investigate Rex

Rex is facing a possible probe from Australia’s corporate watchdog, after its deputy chairman revealed plans for the airline to expand capital city services without informing the ASX.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Australian Border Force extends cruise ban by three months

Those of you who had clients ready and raring to sail out by mid-June may want to prepare a stiff drink before reading this.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel investor Jerry Schwartz proposes helipad for Sofitel Darling Harbour

The prominent Aussie hospitality identity has launched the bold proposal to help revive Sydney’s tourism and conventions profile.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

STUDY: Investing in additional staff training critical for travel industry’s future workforce

Investing in extra training will not only engage staff, but it will also prepare them for the changing landscape of travel, according to new research.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

South Australia’s pubs and cinemas to seat 80 people from June, as WA plans eased regional travel restrictions

by Christian Fleetwood

The moves from each state come as Jacinda Ardern weighs in on the Australian state border row, which she said would need to be sorted out before the trans-Tasman bubble gets the green light.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Aviation Wrap: Air NZ shrinks exec team, Etihad’s new Sydney-London route + MORE

This week’s Aviation Wrap is a bit like that Two-Face character from Batman comics and movies, in that it’s got both good and bad sides to it.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Weekly webinar series to connect agents and suppliers

If you enjoy drinking coffee and having a yarn with your fave suppliers, you’re going to want to get in on this one.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

G Adventures extends suspension of trips, launches another agent challenge

Although international travel is still off the table for the immediate future, G Adventures is keeping agents busy with the launch of a new challenge.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Giants in need: How the dependency on tourism endangers the wellbeing of captive elephants

by Dr Jan Schmidt-Burbach

Despite the fundamental ethical concerns of using elephants in tourism, it can be very profitable and in normal times pays for their upkeep. But what if tourists stop coming altogether?

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Woman dies after falling from balcony at Sydney hotel

by Huntley Mitchell

In other news, Gold Coast detectives have charged three men with murder following the death of a 19-year-old man at a Surfers Paradise holiday apartment complex over the weekend.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Government’s $60bn JobKeeper cost error could see program extended for tourism sector

by Christian Fleetwood

Amid industry calls for its extension, underspending on the federal government’s JobKeeper scheme could be good news for the tourism sector.

Share

CommentComments