By Reshma Ragoonath
Cayman Airways has suspended operation of its two new Boeing 737 Max 8 planes.
The action comes on the heels of the Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crash on Sunday (10 March) morning that killed all 157 people onboard.
It was the second crash in six months involving Boeing’s new model. There is no confirmation that the two tragedies are connected.
In a statement late Sunday evening Cayman Airways President and CEO Fabian Whorms said the decision to suspend use of the airplanes takes effect on Monday (11 March).
”While the cause of this sad loss is undetermined at this time, we stand by our commitment to putting the safety of our passengers and crew first by maintaining complete and undoubtable safe operations,” he said.
The suspension of the 737 Max 8 planes will remain in place, “until more information is received,” said Mr. Whorms.
On Thursday (7 March) Cayman Airways received its second Max 8.
Mr. Whorms said, “Cayman Airways is currently working in coordination with both the Boeing Corporation and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAACI) to monitor the investigation into Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.”
In that flight the 737 Max 8 plane crashed soon after taking off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia en route to Nairobi, Kenya.
Last October, a Lion Air flight went down over the Java Sea killing all 189 people on board.
Mr. Whorms said, “All prudent and necessary actions required for the safe operation of our Max 8’s will be accomplished before the aircraft are returned to service.”
Mr. Whorms asked for patience from customers as the national flag carrier makes changes to its flight operations.
He said, “some relatively minor, but necessary schedule and capacity changes will be needed over the next few days to manage the flight schedule in instances where the national airline may be short on available aircraft.”
The Cayman Airways President and CEO also extended condolences to those who lost loved ones in the flight 302 crash.