Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

A Boeing 737 Max 8 sits outside the hangar during a media tour at the Boeing plant in Renton, Wash., on Dec. 8, 2015.

Matt McKnight/Reuters

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Thursday said 106 Boeing 737 Max airplanes have been grounded worldwide by an electrical issue and said the U.S. plane maker is still working on a fix.

Boeing disclosed an electrical power system issue on April 7 and recommended operators temporarily remove these airplanes from service.

The problem involved the electrical grounding - or connections designed to maintain safety in the event of a surge of voltage - inside a backup power control system. The FAA said Thursday “subsequent analysis and testing showed the issue could involve additional systems.”

Story continues below advertisement

The FAA said in a formal notice to international air regulators that 106 airplanes are covered, including 71 registered in the United States. “All of these airplanes remain on the ground while Boeing continues to develop a proposed fix,” the agency added.

The FAA said Boeing’s investigation showed the issue could impact the standby power control unit, a circuit breaker panel and main instrument panel.

The notice said the “FAA expects to issue an airworthiness directive mandating corrective action before further flight for all affected airplanes.”

Boeing spokeswoman Jessica Kowal said “we concur with the FAA notice and continue to work closely with the regulator and our customers to address the issue.”

The top three U.S. 737 Max operators - Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and United Airlines - removed more than 60 jets from service following the notice from Boeing.

U.S. carriers said they expect the issue will be resolved soon, potentially in the next week or two. American Airlines President Robert Isom said “we have a pretty good idea of exactly what the issue is and the remedies that need to be attended to.”

The FAA said other carriers impacted include Cayman Airways, Copa Airlines, GOL Linhas Aereas, Iceland Air, Minsheng Leasing, Neos Air, Shanding Airlines, SilkAir, Spice Jet, Sunwing Airlines, TUI, Turkish Airlines, Valla Jets Limited, WestJet Airlines and Xiamen Airlines.

Story continues below advertisement

The FAA said it “verified all operators with affected airplanes have voluntarily taken those aircraft out of service.”

The FAA said the production issue “is not related to recertification of the flight control system on the 737 Max, ungrounding of the aircraft, or its return to service.” Boeing has delivered more than 450 Max airplanes.

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies