Canada on Wednesday became the latest country to ban the Boeing 737 MAX 8 form its airspace after one of the jets was involved in a fatal crash minutes after takeoff from an airport in Ethiopia.
The UK, Germany and Ireland on Tuesday also joined Asian and Middle Eastern governments in grounding and banning the MAX 8 planes from flying overhead, making the United States the lone country to leave the model in rotation.
U.S.-based Boeing said earlier this week it saw no reason to pull its popular aircraft despite growing backlash and criticism regarding the MAX 8’s safety.
The Federal Aviation Administration as well as several U.S. airlines have also expressed support for the Boeing model — including Southwest and American Airlines, which is the largest airline in the world.
A vice president for American — which boasts 24 MAX 8s — said they have “full confidence in the aircraft” just days after an Ethiopia Airlines jet traveling to Nairobi crashed six minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa.
The Max 8 aircraft had only been in use for four months when it nosedived into a field amid clear weather Sunday morning.
Ethiopian Airlines, widely seen as Africa’s best-managed airline, indefinitely grounded its other four 737 Max 8s as “an extra safety precaution.” The carrier had been using five of the planes and was awaiting delivery of 25 more.
It’s the second time in five months that one of the planes crashed immediately after taking flight. A new Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 in October went down just 12 minutes after departing an airport in Jakarta, Indonesia. None of the 189 people aboard the crash.