Will Trump’s Boeing 737 MAX Ban Affect Hawaiʻi Flights?
Today, President Trump issued an order to ground all Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft from operating in U.S. airspace. The ban follows the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which killed all 157 people onboard.
As a result of Trump’s ban, will commercial airline flights in Hawaiʻi see any effect?
Southwest Airlines, which recently obtained FAA certification to offer commercial flights in Hawaiʻi and just last week began selling flights to customers, operates a fleet of 34 Boeing 737 MAX 8’s in the U.S. but has since grounded all models following Trump’s ban.
A spokesman from Southwest Airlines tells MauiNow that the company has “received FAA ETOPS authorization to operate the 737-800 to Hawaiʻi, not the MAX 8. There should be no impact to our Hawaiʻi service”.
“While we remain confident in the MAX 8 after completing more than 88,000 flight hours accrued over 41,000 flights, we support the actions of the FAA and other regulatory agencies and governments across the globe that have asked for further review of the data – including information from the flight data recorder – related to the recent accident involving the MAX 8” said Southwest Airlines.
In response to the order, Southwest released the following statement on Twitter:
Our statement regarding the Boeing 737 MAX 8: pic.twitter.com/sjoCGwffby
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) March 13, 2019
Although Southwest has only operated 34 Boeing 737 MAX airplanes, it does have 280 orders for the airplane model from Boeing.
Hawaiian Airlines does not fly the Boeing 737 MAX 8 model and has not issued an official statement regarding the ban.
Only Air Canada, West Jet and United operated the Boeing 737 Max 8 in Hawaiʻi airspace but have since complied with the ban.