What happens to customers on cancelled Max 8 flights?

Erika Holt
March 14, 2019

United Airlines flies a slightly larger version of the plane, the Max 9.

Capt. Solomon Gizaw was among the first people dispatched to find the crash site, which was discovered by Ethiopia's air force. But he told reporters at a press conference in Ottawa the new satellite data received Wednesday morning prompted the department to re-evaluate.

United States officials say the recent government shutdown played a part in the delay of Boeing's software update for its 737 Max aircraft, which has been grounded by airlines and countries around the world after two deadly accidents in the past five months, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The FAA declined to comment on the incidents that pilots reported, but said it was not aware of any verified reports of MCAS-related issues in the U.S.

On Sunday an Ethiopian Airlines Max 8 crashed shortly after take-off killing all 157 on board.

Oman, Norwegian Air Shuttle and South Korean airline Eastar Jet were among the latest to halt use of the Boeing model. Some early-moving regulators admitted they had few specific facts suggesting the airplane was unsafe, but preferred to err on the side of caution.

Aviation authorities in the USA have expressed continued confidence in the aircraft, despite mandating a software update following Sunday's crash.

Germout Freitag, a spokesman for Germany's Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation, said that agency declined a request from Ethiopia to analyze the box because it lacked the software needed.

Pilots of both planes had to correct their planes' trajectories repeatedly after the automatic control systems aimed the nose downward.

The FAA, which certified the 737 Max as airworthy and has been the lead regulatory body for the airplane, is in a hard position, Goelz said.

The president said he has spoken with Boeing executives and they agree with the decision, adding he hopes they will come up with a plan to address the planes' issues quickly.

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Two pilots in the USA reported that the Boeing 737 Max 8 suddenly tilted downwards as it was flying previous year.

That type of airccraft were initially used on the route when it was launched in 2017 before the airline's 737 MAX fleet was delivered.

The FAA said on Twitter the grounding was ordered "as a result of the data gathering process and new evidence collected at the site and analyzed today".

The new variant of the world's most-sold modern passenger aircraft was viewed as the likely workhorse for airlines for decades.

"We are working to rebook impacted customers as soon as possible", a spokesperson said in a statement.

WestJet noted that the grounding order affects just eight per cent of its 162-plane fleet.

The MAX 8 has new software that automatically pushes the plane's nose down if a stall is detected.

"There must be a rigorous investigation into why the aircraft, which has critical safety systems that did not exist on prior models, was certified without requiring additional pilot training", he said.

US -based aircraft-tracking firm Aireon provided the satellite data to the FAA, Transport Canada and several other authorities, company spokeswoman Jessie Hillenbrand said.

Southwest said it will allow travelers to rebook canceled flights free of charge within 14 days of the original travel dates. But the company says it expects the FAA to mandate the software upgrade through an "Airworthiness Directive (AD) no later than April".

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