TUI and Norwegian Among Airlines Affected by MAX 8 Ban

The Civil Aviation Authority has followed other flight safety regulators around the world in grounding the Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet following the Ethiopian Airlines crash

Britain follows Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, Ethiopia, South Africa and China in grounding the model following Sunday’s crash in Addis Ababa.

A CAA spokesperson said: “As we do not currently have sufficient information from the flight data recorder we have, as a precautionary measure, issued instructions to stop any commercial passenger flights from any operator arriving, departing or overflying UK airspace.

“The UK Civil Aviation Authority’s safety directive will be in place until further notice.

“We remain in close contact with the European Aviation Safety Agency and industry regulators globally.”

During the ban, no Boeing 737 MAX 8 flights will be allowed to take off or land in the UK. Airlines operating the jet will also not be allowed to fly in UK airspace.

TUI has five of the aircraft, mainly based in Manchester for use on longer European and North Africa flights.

In a statement it said: “Any customers due to fly home today on a 737 MAX 8 from their holiday will be flown back on another aircraft.

“Customers due to travel in the coming days will also travel on holiday as planned on other aircraft.”

Meanwhile, Norwegian is set to temporarily deploy a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to operate US flights from Dublin Airport to support customers affected by the suspension of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

Customers booked on affected transatlantic routes to and from Ireland serviced by the 737 MAX will be rebooked onto flights using the 787-9 Dreamliner. The 787 Dreamliner, registered G-CKWF with Charles Lindbergh on the aircraft tail, will operate the Dublin-New York Stewart (SWF) route daily.

Norwegian will position the 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft and crew from London Gatwick to Dublin Airport.

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner has 338 seats configured with a Premium cabin offering 56 seats and 282 seats in economy.

Tomas Hesthammer, Acting Chief Operating Officer, said: “In response to the temporary suspension of Being 737 MAX operations by multiple aviation authorities we have taken the decision to not operate flights using this aircraft type, until advised otherwise by the relevant aviation authorities. We would like to apologise to affected customers and we remain committed to ensuring that customers can continue to travel on Norwegian’s network.”

The airline said it has more than 110 Boeing 737-800s that are not affected by the ban.

Other airlines which use the Boeing aircraft to fly to and from the UK include Turkish Airlines on flights between Istanbul and Birmingham.

Ryanair’s first MAX 8 aircraft are due to start flying from Stansted on May 14.

Which? is warning that even though the MAX 8 has been temporarily banned from flying in the UK, passengers could still end up on one of the aircraft if they’re booked on a connecting flight in another country.

“Given the level of publicity about this issue, UK airlines who have sold tickets with codeshare partners operating these planes should consider informing passengers who might be affected in advance and giving them the option to switch to another route with a different aircraft for free,” it said in a statement.