12 Mar 2019

Fiji Air continues to fly Max 8s into NZ

12:35 pm on 12 March 2019

Fiji Airways is continuing to operate its two Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft despite recent fatal incidents involving the aircraft.

Fiji masi design Fiji Airways

Fiji masi design Fiji Airways Photo: Alex Perrottet/RNZ

Dozens of airlines around the world have grounded the plane in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines crash which killed all 157 people on board.

The incident comes just five months after Indonesia's Lion Air's 737 Max 8 aircraft crashed into the ocean off Jakarta, killing 189.

However, the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand said it is not planning to restrict the operation of Max 8 aircraft into the country.

Fiji Airways has two Max 8s and is the only airline flying the planes into New Zealand.

The civil aviation authority said it was satisfied with the steps taken to ensure the safety of their operation.

Fiji Airways refuted international reports that listed it among the airlines to ground the planes.

The airline said a comprehensive induction process was followed for their new Max 8 aircraft and it had full confidence in the airworthiness of their fleet.

The airline said the safety of its passengers and crew is, and always will be, their number one priority.

The MAX 8 series has only been operating commercially for less than a year.

The MAX 8 series has only been operating commercially for less than a year. Photo: Boeing

The Civil Aviation Authority said it will continue to monitor the progress of the safety investigation into the Ethiopian Airlines crash to determine if any facts arise that causes them to review their position.

The authority said it would also continue to liaise with other International Aviation Authorities to ensure an informed response is taken should the situation change.

Meanwhile the Fiji Islands Hotel and Tourism Association said it did not think there would be an impact on visitor arrivals and it had faith in reassurances issued by Fiji Airways.

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