In light of concerns expressed to ACTA by both Travel Agents and the travelling public, ACTA reached out yesterday to Transport Minister Marc Garneau’s Office to relay questions we’ve received about safety, liability issues, and recourse to cancel bookings that involve flights booked on Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft. As most of you are already aware many jurisdiction outside of North America have now banned the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in their airspace pending further investigation into the March 10 crash in Ethiopia that resulted in the death of 149 passengers and 8 crew aboard a Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.
Here is the response ACTA received late yesterday from Minister Garneau’s Policy Advisor, Miled Hill. While it does not yet address all concerns we raised, it does explain Transport Canada’s position at this time. It should also help you explain the current situation to your customers.
At this time, Minister Garneau and Transport Canada are confident in the safety of the Max 8 aircraft, particularly given the highest standards of safety followed in Canada, by Canadian airlines, and by Canadian pilots. We have no information or concrete evidence about the cause of the unfortunate crash in Ethiopia, but we are following the investigation incredibly closely. As a result, we cannot speculate about a potential link between this incident and the Lion Air crash last October, as many have done.
Rest assured that Minister Garneau is following this closely and has cleared his schedule today (March 12) and tomorrow (March13) to focus on this incident. If any evidence or facts come to light that would cause the safety of this aircraft to be called in to question, the Minister will not hesitate to take corrective and immediate action.
Furthermore, after the Lion Air incident in October, Canada instituted rigorous training for all Max 8 pilots that give pilots the tools they need to prevent a similar incident from occurring. We will also be following the FAA’s implementation of a software update for all Max 8 aircraft.
Please also be advised that ACTA has reached out to Provincial Regulators for official statements in regards to Travel Agent requirements under their Travel Industry legislation and regulations. All official updates will be posted on the home page and through our social media channels as soon as they become available.