GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands, Monday March 11, 2019 – Cayman Airways has suspended the use of its two new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, following yesterday’s fatal crash of that same type of plane operated by Ethiopian Airlines.
The crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which crashed yesterday morning shortly after take-off from the airport in Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board, was the second fatal crash of the model in less than six months.
“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 undoubtedly safe operations and, as such, we have taken the decision to suspend operations of both our new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, effective from Monday March 11, 2019, until more information is received,” said Cayman Airways President and CEO Fabian Whorms in a statement issued yesterday evening.
He added that the airline is currently working in coordination with both the Boeing Corporation and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands to monitor the investigation into Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.
“We offer our valued customers our continued assurance that 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,” Whorms said, adding that 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.
It was only on March 2 that Cayman Airways officially launched the Denver, Colorado route – the longest commercial nonstop flight in the airline’s 50-year history – on the Boeing 737 Max 8 plane.