Canada Bans 737 Max Planes After Ethiopian Crash, Leaving U.S. as the Last Holdout

Since Sunday, dozens of airlines and more than 45 countries have implemented changes to either ground their aircrafts or ban them from airspace entirely.

Canada Bans 737 Max Planes After Ethiopian Crash, Leaving U.S. as the Last Holdout

Chinese authorities have grounded the country’s Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, such as the one pictured, after a deadly crash in Ethiopia.

Photo by aapsky /

The European Union and Canada have joined multiple countries and airlines based everywhere from China to the Cayman Islands in grounding or banning Boeing 737 Max aircraft from their airspace following the Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people on Sunday. Bound for Nairobi, Kenya, the 737 Max 8 crashed six minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa and carried citizens of 35 countries on board. As of Wednesday, the United States is the only country still flying the 737 Max 8 jets.

After the crash, Ethiopian Airlines grounded its four remaining 737 Max 8s, as Ethiopian authorities began their investigation. The jet had only flown 1,200 hours after being delivered to Ethiopian Airlines in November. Its last maintenance was on February 4.The jet had only flown 1,200 hours after being delivered to Ethiopian Airlines in November. Its last maintenance was on February 4.

The 737 Max 8 is the latest version of Boeing’s single-aisle aircraft and the world’s most common passenger jet. Since Sunday, other airlines have grounded their 737 Max 8s. The model was also involved in a Lion Air crash in Indonesia last year that killed 189 people. However, safety experts warn against drawing comparisons between the two crashes until more is known about Sunday’s disaster.

Boeing issued a statement saying it was “deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the passengers and crew” in Ethiopia and is sending a technical team to the crash site to help investigators. However, the company is not issuing any new recommendations about the 737 Max 8 to the airlines that fly it, believing there are no reasons to halt operations on flights.

According to the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), there are 54 carriers operating around 350 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft worldwide. No U.S. carrier has grounded the planes, but Southwest Airlines and American Airlines both operate 737 Max 8 aircraft (United Airlines uses the 737 Max 9, a newer version). All three airlines have issued statements regarding their confidence in the aircraft’s safety.

Countries that have grounded 737 Max 8 aircraft

  • China’s Civil Aviation Administration grounded the 96 737 Max 8 aircraft operated by Chinese carriers on Monday until it was able to consult with the U.S. FAA and Boeing. China Southern Airlines is one of Boeing’s biggest customers for this model with 16 aircraft currently in operation and 34 more on order.
  • Indonesia’s transport ministry also grounded the 11 737 Max 8 aircraft that operate within the country until they can all be certified by flight inspectors.
  • Singapore’s civil aviation authority implemented a temporary ban on all Boeing 737 Max planes (8 and 9 are the two models currently in service) from entering and leaving the country.
  • The UK Civil Aviation Authority stopped any commercial passenger flights on all 737 Max aircraft on any carrier from arriving, departing, or flying over UK airspace.
  • Germany’s transport minister Andreas Scheuer banned the 737 Max 8 from the country’s airspace “until all doubts have been cleared.”
  • Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority banned the 737 Max 8 from flying to or from the country, affecting Fiji Airways service into Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and Adelaide.
  • Even though no Malaysian carrier uses the 737 Max 8 planes, the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia banned the aircraft from its airspace.
  • Oman’s Public Authority for Civil Aviation banned 737 Max 8 aircraft from flying in and out of its airports, effectively grounding Oman Air’s five 737 Max 8 planes.
  • On Tuesday, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency banned all 737 Max 8 and 737 Max 9 flight operations throughout Europe.
  • Egypt banned all 737 Max aircraft from its airspace due to the “lack of clarity” around the cause of the Ethiopia crash.
  • Hong Kong temporarily banned all 737 Max aircraft from its airspace as a precaution.
  • Lebanon’s Civil Aviation Authority prohibited all 737 Max planes from its airspace on Wednesday.
  • New Zealand banned 737 Max 8 planes from flying to or from its airports.
  • United Arab Emirates has banned both 737 Max 8 and 737 Max 9 planes from operating over UAE airspace until further notice.
  • On Wednesday, Canada’s transportation minister banned all Boeing 737 Max 8 and 737 Max 9 planes from using Canadian airspace, citing new satellite-tracking data that shows similarities between the two crashes.

Airlines that have grounded 737 Max 8 aircraft

  • The Caribbean carrier Cayman Airways temporarily halted flights on the two 737 Max 8 airplanes it operates until more information is received about the crash in Ethiopia.
  • In Morocco, Royal Air Maroc suspended use of the one 737 Max 8 it has in operation until a local team can inspect and verify its safety.
  • Comair, the airline that operates British Airways and Kulula flights in South Africa, has also decided to ground the one 737 Max 8 aircraft it flies until Boeing is consulted.
  • India’s Jet Airways grounded its five Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft and is in contact with Boeing.
  • Brazil’s Gol Airlines suspended the use of its 121 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, but hopes to return the planes to use as soon as possible noting since it started flying the aircraft last June, nearly 3,000 flights have been completed safely.
  • Mexico’s Aeromexico suspended flights with its six Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft and will replace the routes affected with other planes for the time being.
  • Norwegian Airlines isn’t flying its 18 737 Max 8s until further notice. The airline acknowledged that this would lead to flight delays and cancellations on its routes between the East Coast and Europe.
  • South Korea’s Eastar Jet grounded its two 737 Max 8 jets.
  • Aerolíneas Argentinas, the state carrier of Argentina, has grounded its five 737 Max 8 planes until further notice.
  • MIAT Mongolian Airlines grounded its one 737 Max 8 plane.

The Associated Press contributed reporting to this article.

This article originally appeared online on March 11, 2018; it was updated on March 13, 2019, to include current information.

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Lyndsey Matthews is the senior commerce editor at AFAR who covers travel gear, packing advice, and points and loyalty.
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