CAA says Fiji Airways Boeing 737 Max 8 safe after Ethiopian Airlines crash

Fiji Airways says it will continue to fly its Boeing 737 Max 8 despite other countries grounding the planes following the Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed all 157 people on board.

Aviation authorities in China, Indonesia and Ethiopia ordered airlines to ground their Max 8 planes.

Fiji Airways started flying the Max 8 from Nadi to Wellington in December last year. 

The aircraft, which has been the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing's history, was recently at the centre of another investigation after one operated by Indonesian airline Lion Air plunged into the sea in October, killing 189 people.

Fiji Airways flies two Max 8s and has three on order for 2019. 

The airline flies the aircraft to Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.

A  Civil Aviation Authority spokesman said that after talking with Fiji Airways it was satisfied with the steps taken to ensure the safety of its Max 8 operations and had no plans to restrict the operation of the Max 8 to New Zealand.

"We will continue to closely monitor the progress of the safety investigation of the recent Ethiopian Airlines accident to determine if there are facts, or contributing factors, which would cause us to review our position", he said.

The authority will continue to liaise with international authorities so it could respond appropriately if the situation changed.

In a statement Fiji Airways said it had "full confidence in the airworthiness of our entire fleet".

"We continue to ensure that our maintenance and training programme for pilots and engineers meets the highest safety standards," the airline said.

"The safety of our passengers and crew is, and always will be, our number one priority. We are incredibly saddened to hear of the tragic accident involving Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, and are following the situation closely.

The crash of the Ethiopian Airlines jet shortly after it took off from Addis Ababa on Sunday is drawing renewed scrutiny of the plane just four months after a similar crash of the same model.

The Ethiopian Airlines aircraft's blackbox was found partially damaged

Boeing has delivered about 350  of the Max planes to scores of airlines, and has orders for more than 5000.

Shares in the company fell more than 9 per cent Monday in pre-market trading.

According to data from, the 737 Max is flown by 40 airlines around the world.

Indonesian investigators are examining whether faulty readings from a sensor might have triggered the automatic nose-down command to the plane, which the Lion Air pilots fought unsuccessfully to overcome.

The Lion Air plane's flight data recorder showed problems with an airspeed indicator on at least four previous flights, although the airline initially said the problem was fixed.

Boeing has delayed its the launch of its 777X airliner launch this week following the Ethiopian crash.