Fiji Airways Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft Grounded Til Further Notice
157 people died last Sunday in one of the Ethiopian Airline’s Boeing 737 MAX, just 6 minutes after take-off to Nairobi.
Last October, 189 people traveling in China’s Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX also lost their lives after they crashed into the Java Sea, 12 minutes after take-off.
Til date, the cause of the crash is still unknown.
Fiji Airways has ordered 5 of the same aircraft last year but only 2 were delivered and the remaining three will be delivered this year.
Despite the crash on Sunday, the Boeing company CEO still says the 737 Max is “airworthy”.
However, airlines around the world chose to ignore this and put a halt to all of their 737 Max fleet.
Countries such as Australia, Germany, European Union, India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Mongolia, United Kingdom and South Korea had grounded their Boeing 737 jets.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji and Fiji Airways has decided today to temporarily follow suit until the cause of the Ethiopian Airline crash is determined.
As a result, the national airline has changed the aircraft type that operates to and from Australia until further notice.
The statement went on to say that the decision was made in response to the concerns raised by the general public.
Fiji Airways and the Civil Aviation Authority stressed that they have full confidence in the airworthiness of the 737 MAX including its skilled and experienced pilots and engineers.
Fiji Airways started using the Boeing 737 MAX since last December.
The national airline’s spokesperson, Shane Hussein, said in a press statement that the aircraft has proven to be reliable and efficient, and continuous flight data monitoring has not identified any issues that would give rise to a cause for concern.
Fiji’s 737 MAX aircraft flies to Australia, New Zealand and other Pacific Island Countries.
One flight to Australia was cancelled this morning (13.03.19).
In a statement Fiji Airways says it will use its existing Boeing 737 NG aircraft as well its Airbus A330 fleet to replace flights which were to be operated by the MAX 8 series.
Some flight times may be impacted as a result, but all affected customers will be notified of any change in their flight schedules.
Customers who wish to query their flight schedules can contact Fiji Airways Reservations, however, there may be extended waiting times.
According to Boeing, the company has been developing a “flight control software enhancement” for the aircraft.
In an interview with CNN, the Ethiopian Airlines CEO says there are substantial similarities in both the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crash.
It is alleged that pilots struggle to use the new feature which Boeing added to its MAX 737, known as the “automatic stalling system”.
So far, only the US and Canada are still flying many of its 737 MAX 8 planes.