Garuda joins Indonesian private carrier Lion Air and a number of global airlines in weighing a switch away from Boeing's Max jetliner to other aircraft after regulators around the world made a decision to ground Boeing's most popular model.
Canadian authorities received the information from "an organization", he said, declining to say which. The two countries had been increasingly isolated as jurisdiction after jurisdiction ordered airlines not to fly the Boeing models into their airspaces.
The 4,000 pilots of the Air Canada Pilots Association said after Garneau's statement that they supported the minister's decision to be "proactive" and "take steps, consistent with other jurisdictions, to help ensure the safety of the Canadian travelling public".
The U.S. -based Boeing has said it has no reason to pull the popular aircraft from the skies and does not intend to issue new recommendations about the aircraft to customers.
JP Morgan Chase & Co. analyst Seth Seifman said the situation could hurt Boeing's cash flow in three ways: compensation of airlines for grounded planes; delays of deliveries of the jet; and any modifications for the aircraft.
In his press conference, Garneau called this a precautionary move that is based on all the evidence available.
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US Representative Rick Larsen said the software upgrade would take a few weeks to complete, and installing it on every plane would take "at least through April". Two Israelis were killed in the crash, and members of an emergency response team from the country said they are frustrated because they have not been able to access the crash site.
Meanwhile, France's Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) in Paris has tweeted a picture of the Flight Data Recorder (FDR), provided by the Ethiopian investigation team, reports CNN.
Currently, Canadian airlines that use the aircraft are Air Canada, West Jet, and Sunwing, however, Sunwing grounded all their models this morning.
Airline passenger rights advocate Woodrow French says he's pleased with the decision. "If there is enough evidence of a potential harm, and in this case I think there is evidence of potential harm, then the prudent thing is to ground those aircraft".
"Canada and the USA were sitting there, pariahs in the environment, and I think that Canada basically had to stand up to the data that it has", Gradek said. That will likely be contained in the plane's voice and data recorders, which have been recovered.
Investigators looking into the Indonesian crash are examining whether the software automatically pushed the plane's nose down repeatedly, and whether the Lion Air pilots knew how to solve that problem by throwing toggle switches and cancelling the automated nose-down commands.