This article has been updated as of 3:45 p.m. (Mar. 13, 2019) to include comments made by U.S. President Donald Trump regarding Boeing's status in the U.S.
Following a press conference in Ottawa, Canada's Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced that all Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes in Canada are being grounded over safety concerns arising from the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 302, which killed all 157 individuals on board.
According to a report filed by The Canadian Press, Garneau says the decision to ground the plane was made after a review of the evidence about the aircraft.
Global News reports that Garneau said "new data obtained via satellite monitoring Wednesday morning suggested similarities between the Ethiopian Airlines crash and the Lion Air crash that crashed shortly after takeover into the Java Sea six months ago that “exceed a certain threshold in our minds” and that the decision to ground the fleets comes as a direct result of that."
The article also reports Garneau as saying “There can’t be any Max 8 or Max 9 flying into, out of or across Canada, so that obviously affects the Canadian Max 8s that are owned by Air Canada, West Jet and Sunwing that own aircraft but also have implications on airlines outside the country."
Despite this move, Boeing still stands behind its fleet. The aviation company has not provided any further updates at this time.
As of minutes ago, Air Canada and WestJet were the only remaining airlines that said they would continue to fly the fleet, after Sunwing Airlines mentioned that it was grounding its four Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet late last night.
Air Canada issued a statement saying it will "comply immediately" with Transport Canada's safety notice.
"We fully support this decision and will continue to work with Transport Canada towards resolution of this situation as soon as possible," the airline stated.
WestJet also issued a statement:
"We respect the decision made by Transport Canada and are in the process of grounding the 13 MAX aircraft in our fleet. This decision has an impact on the travel plans of our WestJet guests and we ask for understanding as we work to rebook all guests affected as quickly as possible," the company stated.
Travellers are advised to check the status of their flights before heading to the airport.
U.S. follows suit
This afternoon, in a video uploaded to Twitter, U.S. President Donald Trump said:
"In response to the tragedy of the Ethiopian Airlines crash this weekend, the FAA is preparing to make an announcement very shortly regarding the physical evidence that we've received from the [crash] site and other locations. We've had a very detailed group of people working on the 737 8 and 737 9, new airplanes, we're gonna be issuing an emergency order of prohibition to ground all flights of the 737 MAX 8 and the 737 MAX 9 and planes associated with that line."
The President continued on to say that any planes currently in the air will continue onwards to their destination, and once arrived, grounded upon landing.
This is a developing story.
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