NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The tourism industry has experienced little to no impact from Boeing’s decision to ground its global fleet of 737 Max aircraft, according to Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar.
D’Aguilar says stop-over arrivals, especially from the United States (US), have proven to remain steady despite the ongoing investigation into one of Boeing’s newest models which has crashed in two separate incidents between October 2018 and March 2019.
The first incident saw the downing of Lion Air’s Flight 610, which crashed into the Java Sea; all 189 passengers and crew were killed in that accident.
Five months after that horrific accident, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, crashed just minutes after take-off.
All 157 passengers and crew died in that accident.
In an effort to quell mounting public concern about the mysterious crashes, which both involved Boeing’s Max 737 fleet, the airline giant made a decision to ground its global fleet on March 14.
The suspension has grounded 371 of the Max aircrafts; a decision which forced airline carriers around the world to strategize how they would transport their passengers with other aircraft in their fleet.
It’s a move which D’Aguilar said did not impact tourist arrivals into the country.
“A number of these 737 Max’s were involved in bringing passengers to and from The Bahamas and they have subsequently been taken out of service. There was an initial concern that it would somehow impede the flow of passengers to and from the country, but I think the airlines have adjusted their equipment and are accommodating the request of passengers to come into the country quite well,” he said.
“We haven’t seen any impact. We are watching it very closely, but there is not really much we can do on our end.
“This is something that Boeing and the FAA will have to do to alleviate what is seemingly a problem with the aircraft itself.”
There has been no timeline announced concerning when the suspension of the Max aircrafts will be lifted.