Airline manufacturer Boeing has issued a statement saying it supports the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX.
Airlines around the world have grounded their Boeing 737 MAX in the wake of an Ethiopian Airlines crash earlier this week and a Lion Air crash of the same model of plane in 2018. The pilots of both planes reported flight control problems preceding the accidents.
Fiji Airlines is the only company that flies the Boeing 737 MAX to Australia. It grounded all the Boeing 737 MAX planes in its fleet yesterday.
A spokesperson for Fiji Airways told Family Travel anyone flying to Fiji has “nothing to worry about”.
“We have swapped the aircraft for others in our fleet and expect minimal disruption to flight schedules,” the Fiji Airways spokesperson said. “This process has gone into immediate effect and we intend to operate schedules as planned. However, any changes will be communicated to passengers.”
In a statement on the airlines’ website, Fiji airlines say it took the action “in line with the stance taken by aviation regulators in our region.”
“Since Fiji Airways commenced operating the Boeing 737 MAX in December 2018, 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 Airways said in a joint statement with the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji on their website.
“However, out of deference to the position taken by regulators in our region, and in response to the concerns expressed by the general public, both Fiji Airways and the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji have agreed that the most appropriate course is to impose this temporary grounding. We will continue to monitor developments closely, and this decision will be reviewed in light of any new information.
Boeing supports 737 MAX grounding
Yesterday Boeing said it had full confidence in the Boeing 737 MAX. However, this morning the company has posted a statement online supporting the grounding of the flights.
Boeing’s decision to support the grounding of the 737 Max came after a statement from the US Federal Aviation Authority.
In an emergency order, the FAA said it had “new information from the wreckage” of the Ethiopia crash, along with satellite-based tracking of the flight path that indicated some similarities with a Lion Air crash in the Java Sea that killed 187 people in October.
The information “warrants further investigation of the possibility of a shared cause for the two incidents that needs to be better understood and addressed,” the FAA said in a statement.
What happens if my flight was on a Boeing 737 Max?
Depending on your airline, the flight may be cancelled. You may be moved to a different flight or a different type of aircraft. The only way to know for sure is to check with the airline.
United says it will use spare aircraft for some flights and rebook customers for others.
American will offer cancelled customers a full refund. They are working to rebook any customers who were due to fly on a Boeing 737 Max.
Southwest is offering “flexible rebooking policies”. Any customer booked on MAX 8 flight can “rebook on alternate flights without any additional fees or fare differences within 14 days of their original date of travel between the original city pairs.”
Fiji Airways are swapping all Boeing 737 Max flights for other planes. Passengers affected will be contacted.