Fiji Airways, together with the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji, announced (13-Mar-2019) it has taken the decision to temporarily ground its fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft until more information is known about the cause of the Ethiopian Airlines accident. The move is in line with the stance taken by aviation regulators in the Pacific region, and an increasing number of operators worldwide. Details include:
- Fiji Airways complied on 12-Mar-2019 with the directive by Australia‘s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to suspend all Boeing 737 MAX 8 operations to/from Australia, announcing it will be changing the aircraft type operating to/from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide until further advised;
- The parties stated they “continue to have full confidence in the airworthiness of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, and in the skilled and experienced Fiji Airways pilots and engineers who operate them”. Fiji Airways noted that since it commenced operations with the 737 MAX in Dec-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 will use its existing Boeing 737 NG aircraft as well its A330 fleet to replace flights which were to be operated by the MAX 8s. Some flight times may be impacted as a result, and all affected customers will be notified of any change in their flight schedules.