Tag: Sunwing

A first in Quebec: 1,200 participants expected to run YQB’s runway

Provided by Aéroport de Québec/CNW

QUÉBEC CITY, May 10, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – On Saturday, August 24, 2019, Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) will be holding the first YQB 5K, where some 1,200 participants will have the chance to run the airport’s main runway. The YQB 5K is a unique opportunity for people in the Québec City area to see the airport from a different angle—one that’s normally not available to the public. This type of race has already proven successful at other Canadian airports, but this will be a first in Quebec. Avjet and Air Canada have partnered with the airport to sponsor the event.

“I’m thrilled with the idea of welcoming more than 1,000 people from the greater Québec City area to our airport. I can’t wait to bring them to the heart of the action, where planes take off and land every day. YQB’s employees and partners are working hard to make this an exciting experience for the runners and everyone who comes to cheer them on. The entire airport community has stepped up to help with this event, which will support two leading local organizations,” stated Stéphane Poirier, President and CEO of YQB.

This promises to be a festive and family-friendly event with a quick course. Participants can take advantage of their trip to the airport to get a behind-the-scenes look at airport operations and see some interesting equipment, including aircraft.

The money raised for this event will go to the Fondation CERVO, which supports mental health research, and Centraide Québec et Chaudière-Appalaches, which supports a large network of community organizations.

Registration opens on May 10, 2019, at 5kmyqb.com. The first 200 participants will receive an early-bird rate.

Date: Saturday, August 24, 2019
Time: 7AM to 12 PM
Location: Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport
5K starting price: $30 early-bird rate (first 200 participants) and $35 normal rate until June 15
1.5K starting price: $10 per child

Thank you to our partners

This unique event is made possible by the help of numerous partners: Avjet, Air Canada, Air Transat, Sunwing, PAL Airlines, Le Soleil and Rouge FM.

Garneau calls for flight simulators before Max 8s can return to Canadian skies

News provided by TravelWeek.ca/The Canadian Press

Garneau calls for flight simulators before Max 8s can return to Canadian skies

Thursday, April 18, 2019 | By: The Canadian Press

MONTREAL — Transport Minister Marc Garneau says airlines hoping to fly the Boeing 737 Max 8 in Canadian airspace must first train their pilots using a flight simulator.

The call goes further than recommendations from U.S. regulators as training procedures for the grounded plane come under continued scrutiny following two deadly crashes.

“Simulators are the very best way, from a training point of view, to go over exactly what could happen in a real way and to react properly to it,” Garneau said.

“It’s part of it – the software fixes… and the training itself, which in my mind requires simulation time,” he said at an event in Montreal Wednesday.

Garneau’s comments highlight the potential hurdles to landing on a common set of standards and getting the Max 8 back into the air.

Until recently, most U.S. airlines did not require flight simulation for pilots of the Max 8, which aviation authorities across the globe grounded in the wake of the deadly Ethiopian Airlines tragedy on March 10. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that American Airlines will start to use flight simulators, a significant shift.

“As a result of the continuing investigation into both aircraft accidents, we are looking at the potential for additional training opportunities in co-ordination with the FAA and Allied Pilots Association,” American Airlines said in an email Wednesday.

On Tuesday, however, a panel appointed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said pilots will not need new training on flight simulators to learn how to operate the Boeing jet. The group said in a draft report that computer and classroom instruction about new anti-stall software should be adequate for pilots who have flown earlier versions of the 737.

Garneau said he feels “strongly about simulators,” stressing their effectiveness and drawing on his experience as an astronaut.

“From our point of view, it’s not going to be a question of pulling out an iPad and spending an hour on it,” he added, referencing an American Airlines pilots union statement that pilots who were already qualified for Boeing 737-800s took a one-hour, iPad-based training program to fly the Max 8.

Garneau closed Canadian skies to the Max 8 last month over safety concerns arising from the erratic flight path of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 that bore startling parallels to a fatal Lion Air crash off the coast of Indonesia on Oct. 29.

The two flights, both on Max 8s, killed a total of 346 people, including 18 Canadians on board the Ethiopian Airlines flight.

The global grounding of more than 375 Max 8s has impacted scores of airlines, including Air Canada, WestJet Airlines Inc. and Sunwing Airlines Inc.

Air Canada – where 24 Max 8s make up about 10 per cent of its main 243-plane fleet – froze its sunny 2019 financial guidance last month “in light of the current uncertainty.” Older replacement aircraft such as the Airbus A320 are not as fuel efficient and others can only avoid maintenance for so long before heading back to the hangar, further reducing capacity.

Garneau’s remarks came after an announcement highlighting new incentives to buy electric cars.

Starting next month, Canadians who buy or lease an eligible electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicle will get $5,000 off the purchase, Garneau said. Shorter-range plug-in hybrid cars come with a $2,500 incentive.

The minister said Transport Canada is working out the logistics of the discount “at lightning speed,” with plans on how to dole it out still uncertain as the clock ticks down to May 1.

The 2019 budget set aside $300 million for the federal purchase incentive.

Canadian Transportation Agency issues determination in Sunwing inquiry – Sunwing to pay $694,500 penalty

Provided by Canadian Transportation Agency/CNW

GATINEAU, QC, April 8, 2019 /CNW/ – The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) today issued its determination, in the matter of widespread service issues experienced by passengers on Sunwing flights to or from Toronto Pearson International Airport or Montréal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, between April 14 and 18, 2018.

A CTA designated enforcement officer subsequently issued a Notice of Violation against the airline.

Findings

The CTA found that Sunwing did not properly apply its scheduled international tariff rules in respect of:

  • flight delays, including the provision of hotel and meal vouchers to passengers;
  • communication, including communication on flight status and information about delayed or lost baggage; and
  • tarmac delays.

Additionally, the CTA found that the Montreal Convention applies to any Sunwing baggage and delay claim related to this event. The CTA also found that, in circumstances such as these, the airline is responsible for any failings by its agents who provide services on its behalf.

Compensation

Sunwing must compensate passengers for out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a consequence of its failure to properly apply the terms and conditions set out in its Scheduled International Tariff no later than June 28, 2019. 

As the Montreal Convention applies to all of its international flights, Sunwing must also compensate passengers for reasonable expenses incurred as a result of flight delays experienced by passengers or loss, damage or delay to passengers’ baggage. 

These expenses include:

  • expenses for hotel accommodations, transfers to hotels and meal expenses incurred as a result of the delay; and
  • expenses for lost, delayed or damaged baggage, including the cost of replacement items.

This Determination addresses the 574 active complaints filed by individual passengers with the CTA. Sunwing must make every effort to contact the passengers and settle expense claims individually with all passengers who are owed compensation, whether or not they submitted complaints. The parties can avail themselves of the CTA’s facilitation and mediation services, which are available free of charge, to the extent required to reach agreement on compensation.

The CTA does not have the statutory authority to award general damages or compensation to passengers for matters such as any inconvenience, stress, pain and suffering, or loss of vacation time.

Penalty

In addition to compensation owed to passengers, a CTA Designated Enforcement Officer has issued a penalty of $694,500 against the airline. Sunwing has until May 10, 2019 to pay the penalty.

Orders

Sunwing must prepare a contingency plan to ensure it meets its tariff obligations in cases of future widespread flight disruptions. Information on this plan must be provided to the CTA no later than August 30, 2019.

In addition, Sunwing must revise and refile its lost or damaged baggage international tariff provisions to be consistent with the Montreal Convention, no later than May 8, 2019.

Quote

“This is a significant determination for air passengers and air carriers.  It underscores that passengers have rights and recourse when their air travel is disrupted, and that even when problems stem from events such as bad weather, there is a minimum standard of treatment to which all passengers are entitled.”

– Scott Streiner, Chair and CEO of the Canadian Transportation Agency

For more information

Determination 
Notice of ViolationInquiry Officer’s Report   
Canadian Transportation Agency extends its inquiry into Sunwing flight incidents to include Montreal flights    
Canadian Transportation Agency launches inquiry     
Enforcement actions taken by the CTA’s enforcement officers
Types of enforcement actions and contraventions

Sunwing reintroduces domestic flight service this summer with instant savings of $200 per couple

Provided by Sunwing/Globe Newswire

TORONTO, April 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sunwing is making it easier than ever for Canadians to discover the beauty of their own backyard with the return of its domestic flight service this summer. Back by popular demand for a 14th consecutive season, travellers who book by April 30, 2019 can enjoy savings of $200 per couple on domestic flights to some of Canada’s most beautiful cities. 

Canadians can look forward to daily flights between Toronto and Vancouver available starting May 13 until September 4, 2019 and weekly flights departing Thursdays from September 5 to October 10, 2019. In Toronto, travellers can explore gourmet dining experiences, world-class nightlife and a blend of different cultures from around the world. In Vancouver, vacationers can explore the city’s picturesque coastal landscapes and vibrant downtown centre surrounded by the breathtaking mountains.

Those looking to explore the dramatic landscapes of Canada’s East Coast can take advantage of flights from Toronto to three cities in Newfoundland. From June 12 to September 4 travellers can take advantage of five weekly flights to St. John’s  from Monday to Friday where they can take in spectacular ocean vistas on a hike along North Head Trail and admire the picturesque Cape Spear Lighthouse. With twice-weekly flights to Gander on Tuesdays and Fridays from June 18 to September 3, vacationers can discover the unspoiled Kittiwake Coast—one of the few places in the world where you’ll see sand, water, vegetation and icebergs in the same area. From June 12 to September 4 the tour operator is offering weekly flights departing on Wednesdays to Stephenville where travellers can hike along the majestic Long Range Mountains dating back 1.2 billion years.

Passengers can sit back and relax on board Sunwing Airlines with award-winning inflight service featuring complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and a buy on board selection of snacks and light meals including the Grilled Tex Mex Chicken Wrap inspired by Food Network Canada Celebrity Chef, Lynn Crawford. For additional perks, including priority check-in and security line access*, customers can upgrade to Elite Plus from just $50 per sector.

*Available at select Canadian airports.

Anger after Sunwing diversion in New Orleans leads to lengthy delays

News provided by 680news.com/The Canadian Press

By Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press, Posted Mar 31, 2019 4:57 pm EDT, Last Updated Mar 31, 2019 at 5:05 pm EDT

A Sunwing Airlines plane is seen in an undated file photo. HANDOUT/Sunwing Vacations Inc.

A replacement aircraft for a grounded Sunwing Airlines Boeing 737 Max was forced to make an emergency landing in New Orleans on the weekend, sparking anger among passengers who complained they were stranded for hours.

In a statement on Sunday, the charter airline confirmed the Boeing 767-300 en route from Toronto to Cancun, Mexico, was diverted on Saturday due to an unspecified “mechanical issue.”

However, Sunwing normally has no connection to the New Orleans airport, creating logistical issues for the 239 people aboard, the company said.

“We didn’t have our staff on the ground to support communications,” the company said in a statement. “Because of the unplanned nature of the landing, the airport was very busy and it took many hours to find a secured area for our customers to deplane to.”

Passengers aboard Flight WG511 took to social media to vent their frustrations at being stranded aboard the aircraft for hours, then for several more hours in a holding room at the airport.

One passenger, Marcelo Gomez-Wiuckstern, a vice president with Canada Lands Company, tweeted that passengers had been “locked in” the airport basement for more than seven hours without any information.

“No one from the crew is to be seen,” Gomez Wiuckstern said. “The call centre says, ‘We are working on it, keep waiting’.”

“Stuck at New Orleans in a basement which feels like a detention centre with no idea what is happenings,” tweeted another passenger, Robert Liu.

Sunwing said it had leased the Boeing 767 from Eastern Airlines to help maintain its flying schedule after regulatory authorities recently grounded the 737 Max.

The grounding followed deadly crashes off Indonesia and in Ethiopia killed 346 people. Suspicion has fallen on an automated system designed to prevent the aircraft from stalling by pitching the nose of the plane down.

Sunwing said it provided its stranded passengers with water service, snacks and pizza while it sought to replace have Eastern replace the aircraft. That ultimately happened Saturday night with a plane sent from Miami. Everyone was then flown to Cancun, the agency said.

“We are very apologetic for this unfortunate start to their vacation and have compensated accordingly,” Sunwing said.

Sunwing Airlines bills itself as an award-winning leisure carrier that flies out of 33 airports across Canada and the U.S. using more than 40 Boeing 737-800 and the now-grounded Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft. It mainly flies to vacation destinations across the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and Florida.

Sunwing establishes partnership with Mount Royal University on pilot cadet program

Provided by Sunwing Travel Group/GlobeNewswire

TORONTO, March 21, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sunwing Airlines announced today that it has established a new partnership agreement with Mount Royal University and plans to hire its first graduates this coming summer.

From left to right: Piyush Gandhi, Vice President Flight Operations for Sunwing Travel Group; Jeff Binks, Sunwing Captain; Elizabeth Evans, Dean of Mount Royal University’s Faculty of Business and Communication Studies; Shane Workman, Senior Director Flight Operations for Sunwing Travel Group; Michael Simmons, Sunwing Assistant Chief Pilot; Deanna Wiebe, Aviation Program Chair for Mount Royal University.
Source: Sunwing Travel Group

Mount Royal is the latest university that the airline has partnered with, and the first in Alberta, as part of its direct entry cadet program for Aviation graduates. Sunwing already has agreements in place with both the University of Waterloo and Seneca College in Ontario and has hired 24 graduates since the program was established in 2016.

Vice President of Flight Operations for Sunwing Airlines, Piyush Gandhi, commented on the news. “The decision to incorporate Mount Royal into our growing cadet program is a reflection on  both their strong track record within the field of Aviation education and the calibre of their graduates. We have had an extremely positive experience with the pilots that we have hired already through our cadet program and we have no doubt that this new partnership – also the first to be established outside of Ontario where our airline is based – will be a strong success.”

Elizabeth Evans, PhD, Dean of Mount Royal University’s Faculty of Business and Communication Studies which includes the Aviation program also welcomed the news “With today’s signing, we are ensuring we keep this talent here by providing graduates with meaningful employment in Canada. Up to two of our graduates are only weeks away from the tremendous opportunity of joining Sunwing’s cadet program. This is a testament to the strength of Mount Royal’s Aviation program. Sunwing believes graduates have the right skills, knowledge and attitude to become First Officers.”

The Mount Royal Aviation Diploma stands out as it offers students the opportunity to graduate with both the academic qualifications and the in flight training needed to become a commercial airline pilot. Mount Royal University Aviation graduates have an average employment rate of 98 per cent. Once licensed to fly the aircraft, newly-hired graduates follow Sunwing Airlines’ continuous program of line indoctrination and receive mentoring to ensure that they achieve their career goals. Overall, the airline plans to hire between eight and ten new First Officers from its cadet program this coming year.

More information on careers within Sunwing Airlines can be found here. More information on the Mount Royal Aviation program can be found here.

Air Canada, WestJet purchased safety option reportedly missing on crashed Boeing 737 planes

News provided by The Globe and Mail

Ross Marowits, Toronto and The Canadian Press | 21 March 2019

An Air Canada Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft departing for Calgary taxis to a runway at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., on March 12, 2019.THE CANADIAN PRESS

Canada’s two largest airlines have at least one of the optional safety features on their Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft that were reportedly lacking on the jets that crashed in Ethiopia and Indonesia.

Air Canada and WestJet Airlines both say they purchased disagree lights used by the aircraft’s software system during flight to avert stalls.

The New York Times has reported the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air jets involved in recent fatal crashes were not equipped with angle of attack indicators and disagree lights.

The safety features are not standard on the aircraft and are offered by Boeing as upgrades.

Air Canada spokeswoman Isabelle Arthur said the country’s largest airline purchased both safety features for its fleet of 24 Max 8 planes.

However, WestJet spokeswoman Morgan Bell said the Calgary-based airline’s 13 Max 8 planes are not configured with the angle of attack indicators.

She said the disagree light was purchased so the new aircraft will have common configurations with its Boeing 737 NG fleet.

Neither airline would disclose the cost of purchasing these options.

Neither Sunwing Airlines, which has four Max 8s, nor Boeing responded to requests for comment.

Norwegian Air, which is preparing to launch Canadian service to Europe on March 31, says it hasn’t added the optional extra because it is “not a critical safety feature nor is it a requirement by any aviation authority.”

“We are in close dialogue with Boeing and follow their and the aviation authorities’ instructions and recommendations, we immediately implement all safety recommendations as required,” stated acting chief operating officer Tomas Hesthammer.

The discount carrier said it is working on using other aircraft to cover the route but said it is too early to tell how the grounding of the Boeing planes will impact its operations in the coming months.

The safety indicators help pilots detect any erroneous readings from two vanelike sensors that determine the position of the plane’s nose relative to oncoming air.

The angle of attack indicator displays the readings of the two sensors while the disagree light is activated if the sensors don’t provide the same information, the U.S. daily said.

The MCAS system can automatically push the plane’s nose down to prevent stalling if it determines it is pointing up at a dangerous level.

The New York Times also said, citing unnamed sources, that Boeing will soon update the MCAS software and make the disagree light standard on all new 737 Max planes, but maintain the angle of attack indicator as an option.

Boeing is rushing to complete the upgrades on jets by early next week, according to a person familiar with the changes.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Boeing and federal regulators are still discussing details of the upgrade to the Max fleet, which was grounded worldwide after a second deadly crash this month in Ethiopia.

The causes of the Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10 and the Lion Air crash five months earlier, both on takeoff, are being investigated. Investigators are looking at whether a new software system added to avoid stalls may have been a contributing factor.

Air Canada has removed its grounded Boeing 737 Max 8 jets from service until at least July 1 in order to provide more certainty for passengers who wish to book flights in the coming months.

Both Air Canada and WestJet have suspended their 2019 financial guidances.

Garneau to update Canada’s position on Boeing 737 Max 8 as pressure mounts

News provided by citynews1130.com

BY THE CANADIAN PRESS Posted Mar 13, 2019 4:15 am PDT

A Sunwing Boeing 737-800 passenger plane prepares to land at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Wednesday, August 2, 2017. Transport Minister Marc Garneau faced an escalating dilemma Tuesday over Boeing’s 737 Max 8 aircraft, which a growing number of countries have grounded or banned in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people Sunday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

OTTAWA — Transport Minister Marc Garneau is set to update Ottawa’s position on the Boeing 737 Max 8, the aircraft that crashed in Ethiopia, and whether Canada will fall in line with other nations that have grounded the planes.

Garneau is scheduled to address Canada’s plan and safety concerns regarding the Max 8, but it’s not yet clear whether he will impose similar restrictions on the aircraft.

The update comes after Toronto-based Sunwing Airlines announced late Tuesday that it is temporarily grounding its four Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in the wake of the crash in Addis Ababa that killed all 157 people on board, including 18 Canadians.

Sunwing says it made the decision for “evolving commercial reasons” unrelated to safety, including airspace restrictions being imposed in other countries.

Garneau is facing an escalating dilemma over the aircraft, which is being grounded or banned by a growing number of countries after the accident that some experts have said has parallels to a Lion Air crash of the same model of aircraft in Indonesia that killed 189 people last October.

Garneau said Tuesday that he has no plans to ground Canada’s fleet of the Max 8 aircraft, but that “all options are on the table.”

Lebanon and Kosovo barred the aircraft from their airspace today, and Norwegian Air Shuttles said it would seek compensation from Boeing after grounding its fleet. Egypt banned the operation of the aircraft.ADVERTISING

The U.S.-based Boeing has said it has no reason to pull the popular aircraft from the skies and does not intend to issue new recommendations about the aircraft to customers.

Earlier Tuesday, authorities from more than half a dozen countries and regulators, including the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), announced grounding orders or airspace bans on the aircraft.

By Tuesday evening, dozens of airlines had grounded the Max 8, leaving the majority of the nearly 390 Max 8s currently in service around the world confined to the hangar.

Air Canada, along with Southwest and American Airlines, are the major outliers.

Air Canada has 24 Max 8 aircraft, which it uses mainly for domestic and U.S. routes, while Calgary-based WestJet Airlines Ltd. has 13 Max 8s.

Companies in this story: (TSX:AC, TSX:WJA)

Canada, U.S. refuse to ground Boeing 737 Max 8s; Canadian carrier Sunwing suspends four planes on its own

News provided by The Globe and Mail

Nicolas Van Praet, Quebec Business Report | Brent Jang | The Globe and Mail 12 March 2019

Canada has not yet grounded the Boeing 737 Max plane despite at least 40 countries across Europe and Asia banning the jet after two deadly crashes in five months.

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau emphasized Canada’s air safety record, two days after the Max 8 crash in Ethiopia that killed 18 Canadians and 139 other people. “It’s important for us not to jump to conclusions and let ourselves get swept up by emotion,” Mr. Garneau said Tuesday in Montreal, adding: “Canada doesn’t know what caused this accident nor do the countries in question.”

Other countries, faced with the same uncertainty, have ordered the planes grounded. Egypt, Thailand, Lebanon and Uzbekistan on Wednesday joined the long list of nations suspending the model.

The Canadian government has no immediate plans to follow suit but was examining all available information and options, Mr. Garneau said. “I’m saying that Canada has a very high safety record in Canada, including with the Max 8,” he said. “So it’s something that they [Canadians] should take seriously, the fact that we have an extremely good safety record in aviation. Our pilots are very well-trained.”

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) grounded Boeing’s two existing 737 Max variants and also barred the planes from EU airspace by suspending all commercial flights from any country.

The agency, which has 32 member states, said it took the action “as a precautionary measure” and that it was too early to draw any conclusions as to the cause of the Max 8 crash in Ethiopia on Sunday.

EASA’s action was part of a series of similar moves to ground the aircraft by countries including Britain, France, Germany, Australia, Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates, India, China, Singapore and Malaysia. Some airlines such as Norwegian Air, currently one of the Max 8′s biggest operators, decided on their own to keep the planes on the ground.

Canada’s position leaves it offside with many of its key trading partners, with the notable exception of the United States, which continued to stand by the aircraft on Tuesday. Both Boeing and the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) have said there is insufficient proof to link the Ethiopian Airlines crash Sunday and another crash five months ago on Indonesia’s Lion Air that took the lives of all 189 passengers and crew.

Mr. Garneau said a grounding remained an option if the circumstances changed and new information emerged.

The federal cabinet minister, a former astronaut, said he would not hesitate to board a Boeing Max airliner, reiterating earlier comments. The minister said he cancelled his other planned events Tuesday to deal with the issue.

The 737 Max, a newer and more fuel-efficient version of Boeing’s workhorse 737 aircraft, is the fastest-selling plane in Boeing history, the company says. The plane maker has booked 4,700 orders for the Max from about 100 customers worldwide, according to information on its website.

The FAA certified the Max 8 model two years ago and it entered commercial operation soon after. Boeing has delivered more than 370 Max aircraft to nearly 50 customers, including Air Canada, WestJet and Sunwing Airlines.

Late Tuesday, Sunwing announced it was temporarily suspending use of its four Max 8 planes, citing “evolving commercial reasons unrelated to safety including airspace restrictions being imposed by some of our partner destinations.”

Montreal-based Air Canada currently has 24 Max 8s in its fleet and uses them on a variety of routes across North America and Europe. WestJet has 13 Max 8s and operates them mostly to destinations in Canada, the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean.

“We are confident in the safety of our operations and fleet, which are approved by government safety regulators, including Transport Canada and the FAA,” Air Canada said in a statement Tuesday. “This includes previous 737 Max bulletins reinforcing existing procedures which all Air Canada crew were already trained on.”

“The safety of our people and the travelling public are always WestJet’s top priority,” Lauren Stewart, a spokeswoman for the Calgary-based airline, said in an e-mail. “We operate one of the youngest fleets in the airline industry and the Boeing 737 Max 8 was added in October 2017, performing reliably, efficiently and safely on 1,000s of flights since.”

But the union representing Air Canada cabin crew is worried. “The Air Canada Component of CUPE who represents flight attendants at Air Canada mainline and Rouge is calling on the company to at a minimum continue to offer reassignment to crew members who do not want to fly on this type of airplane,” the Canadian Union of Public Employees said in a statement.

Concern about the Boeing Max’s safety began last October when a Max 8 flown by Indonesia’s Lion Air crashed into the Java Sea.

The incident shares at least two things in common with the latest crash, including the plane type involved and the fact both planes plunged to Earth shortly after takeoff. That alone has shaken some industry veterans, even as they await conclusive information.

“The decision to ground the plane is hasty,” said Addison Schonland of boutique aerospace consultancy AirInsight. “There seems to be a knee-jerk reaction by a lot of people and a bit of panic.”

Investigators have not issued definitive determinations about the Lion Air flight. So far, they’ve said the aircraft’s sensors delivered unreliable information, an issue Boeing has pledged to fix. The Ethiopian Airlines probe has just begun.

U.S. carriers including Southwest, the biggest 737 Max operator globally, continue to fly the plane with the backing of the FAA.

“The FAA continues to review extensively all available data and aggregate safety performance from operators and pilots of the Boeing 737 Max,” the FAA said in a statement late Tuesday. “Thus far, our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft. Nor have other civil aviation authorities provided data to us that would warrant action.”

Boeing confirmed late Monday that it will deploy a software upgrade to the Max 8. That came a few hours after the FAA said it would mandate “design changes” in the aircraft by April.

Air passenger rights advocate Gabor Lukacs called on airlines to allow travellers to cancel or change their reservations without being charged on flights booked on the Max 8. He said Canada should ground the planes for at least a few days.

In the meantime, “passengers should be free to make up their minds whether they consider the aircraft too risky,” Mr. Lukacs said in an e-mail. “I would not want any of my loved ones to fly on the 737 Max 8 until we get the FDR (flight data recorder) data.”

On social media, many Canadians expressed concern about Canada’s position on the aircraft. WestJet and Air Canada were bombarded on Twitter with requests to ground the aircraft and waive fees for travellers who want to change flights to avoid the Max 8.

Sunwing grounds Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes, citing airspace restrictions

News provided by CityNews1130.com

BY ESPE CURRIE AND PETER WAGNERPosted Mar 12, 2019 8:32 pm PDT Last Updated Mar 12, 2019 at 9:07 pm PDT

In this still from a Sunwing Vacations promotional video, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 takes off. (Source: YouTube/Sunwing Vacations)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Sunwing has joined the long list of airlines grounding their Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday.

In a Twitter post Tuesday night, the company said the decision doesn’t relate to safety, but has to do with how many places the MAX 8 now can’t fly because of airspace restrictions.View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Sunwing Vacations@SunwingVacay1117:55 PM – Mar 12, 2019

“For evolving commercial reasons unrelated to safety including airspace restrictions being imposed by some of our partner destinations, Sunwing Airlines has taken the decision to temporarily suspend the operations of our 4 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft,” the statement read.

This makes Sunwing the first Canadian airline to park the jet. Air Canada and WestJet also fly the new Boeing model, but are continuing to keep the plane in service. There are a total of 37 MAX 8 planes in the airlines’ fleets.ADVERTISING

China and the European Union have banned the aircraft from their airspace, and multiple airlines around the world have grounded the model.

U.S. and Canadian aviation regulators have been resisting calls for grounding the plane, though, saying it’s too early in the investigation.

The Ethiopian Airlines crash, which killed all 157 people on board – including 18 Canadians – has raised concerns over parallels to a Lion Air crash of the same model of aircraft in Indonesia that killed 189 people last October.

Aviation experts continue to investigate Sunday’s crash, and the cause has not yet been determined.

Canada’s Transport Minister, Marc Garneau said Tuesday that he has no plans to ground Canada’s fleet of 737 Max 8 aircraft, but that “all options are on the table”.

With files from the Canadian Press.