An Air Canada Boeing 737 Max aircraft arriving from Toronto prepares to land at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., on March 12, 2019. Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced on March 13, 2019, he was grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 airplanes in Canada immediately. (Darryl Dyck/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Canada grounds Boeing 737 Max 8 jets

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Joining countries around the world, Canada is grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 jets immediately.

Roughly three-quarters of the 737 Max 8 planes world-wide have now been pulled from use since the Ethiopian Airlines crash last Sunday that killed all 157 people on board, including 18 Canadians.

Citing a review of newly available satellite tracking data, Transport Minister Marc Garneau made the announcement Wednesday.

“This safety notice restricts commercial passenger flights from any air operator, both domestic and foreign, of the Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 aircraft from arriving, departing, or overflying Canadian airspace,” Garneau told reporters in Ottawa.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau speaks about the grounding of all Boeing 737 Max 8 airplanes in Canada during a press conference in Ottawa on Wednesday. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Garneau said the decision to issue the safety notice was made after his department received new data suggesting a similarity between the Ethiopian Airlines crash and another crash near Indonesia in October but added that the information was new and unproven.

“There are — and I hasten to say not conclusive — but there are similarities,” he said. “My departmental officials continue to monitor the situation and I will not hesitate to take swift action should we discover any additional safety issues.”

Air Canada, which already had cancelled multiple scheduled flights to and from London in response to the U.K. closing its airspace, says it’s working to rebook passengers.

Another major airline, WestJet, said Wednesday it will begin complying with Transport Canada’s direction.

Tuesday night, Toronto-based Sunwing Airlines announced it would voluntarily ground its four Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft for “evolving commercial reasons,” such as airspace restrictions imposed by some destinations.

With files from CBC, CTV, Global, CP

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