Air Canada, WestJet to take financial hit from 737 Max 8 ban

Boeing 737 MAX 8

The president insisted the announcement was coordinated with aviation officials in Canada, U.S. carriers and aircraft manufacturer Boeing.

Still, major airlines from North America to the Middle East kept flying the 737 MAX, though Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau said he would not hesitate to take action once the cause of the crash is known.

The crash was the second involving the B737 MAX 800 aircraft in the past four months following October 2018 one involving a Lion Air plane, which plunged into the sea off Jakarta, in Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board.

To be fair, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders extended "our prayers to the loved ones, friends and family of those killed in the tragic crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302" during Monday's press briefing, and said the administration was offering "all possible assistance".

British regulators said they based their decision on the fact that "we do not now have sufficient information from the flight data recorder we have". "Today, immediately, the FAA needs to get these planes out of the sky", she said. Air Canada has 24 Max 8 aircraft (out of 184 in its main fleet), which it uses mainly for domestic and USA routes, while Calgary-based WestJet Airlines Ltd. has 13 Max 8s (out of about 150 planes).

Though there is no evidence the two crashes are linked, the disasters have spooked passengers and have led to the grounding of most of Boeing's 737 Max fleet, hammering shares in the world's biggest plane maker.

Since the Indonesia crash, there has been a focus on an automated anti-stall system in the 737 MAX that dips the aircraft's nose down.

Other carriers, including China have grounded the B737 MAX 800 aircraft in their fleets due to safety concerns.

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Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in NY, said the grounding gives Boeing time to address any problems and not face another potential disaster.

It says the software upgrade "will be deployed across the 737 MAX fleet in the coming weeks". Others moved faster after Sunday, when an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-8 crashed just after takeoff.

Jason Scarrotts, a father of two young children, said he was on the phone with Air Canada for 90 minutes before speaking with an agent to rebook their Max 8 flight from Vancouver to Palm Springs, only to be disconnected.

Six airlines, including Southwest and American Airlines, operate Boeing 737 Max aircraft out of Orlando International Airport. The biggest impact could be on future deliveries given Boeing has almost 5,000 more 737 MAXs on order.

Earlier in the week, Garneau had suggested that grounding the jets would be a "premature" decision, taking a stance similar to the US' FAA which has still not taken any action against the American-made aircraft. Investigators will analyze information from the planes so-called black boxes in hopes of understanding what caused the accident. Including regional aircraft, American has more than 1,500 planes, while United has more than 1,300.

Because the aircraft is so new - Boeing only delivered its first Max in 2017 - USA carriers don't fly many of them.

"We can confirm a rising interest on the aircraft types we are operating", a spokesman for Swedish-based SAS said.

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