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  1. ITV Report

What are your rights if flying on a Boeing 737 Max 8 following the Ethiopian Airlines crash?

British Airways, Air Canada and Ethiopia Airways all operate the planes. Credit: PA

The UK's Civil Aviation Authority has banned the use of Boeing 737 Max aircraft from entering UK airspace following a fatal crash in Ethiopia.

The CAA issued the following statement:

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The action follows suspensions around the globe amid safety concerns following the Ethiopian Airlines disaster which killed 157 people including nine Britons.

Many passengers have been left wondering what their rights are if they are flying on one of the Boeing 737 aircrafts.

Prior to the CAA announcement, ITV News contacted the airlines which continue to fly Boeing 737s to and from UK airports to see where customers stand.

Here are their responses and advice on your rights as a consumer:

  • What are airlines flying out of the UK saying?
Norwegian operates the 737 Max aircraft and will keep doing so, it told ITV News. Credit: PA

The ban will have a knock on effect for UK flight schedules and carriers operating in British airspace.

TUI is the only UK-based operator to have the aircraft in its fleet, reportedly operating 15 of them.

It told ITV News: "Any customers due to fly home today on a 737 MAX 8 from their holiday will be flown back on another aircraft. Customers due to travel in the coming days will also travel on holiday as planned on other aircraft. The safety and wellbeing of our customers and staff has remained our primary concern."

Norwegian, which also operates to Boeing model, said in a statement: "Norwegian will not operate any flights with this aircraft type until further notice.

"We remain in close dialogue with the aviation authorities and Boeing, and follow their instructions and recommendations."

It earlier confirmed to ITV News it is not allowing passengers to cancel or amend their flights free of charge.

British Airways does not directly operate any of the aircraft but a South African franchise, ComAir, which operates routes for BA confirmed to ITV News it is removing the aircraft from service.

  • What are my rights if I want to cancel my flight?
There is no across-the-board rule on grounding the planes, leaving airlines to decide for themselves. Credit: PA

Airlines are operating business-as-usual policies with all their flights, regardless of the aircraft used, as the UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has not intervened.

The authority - which did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ITV News - has the power to ground aircraft, and it has in the past over safety concerns.

Passengers are expected to fly as normal in the absence of a change of airline policy or pay the normal cancellation fees.

The Independent's travel editor, Simon Calder, warns: "Insurance does not cover 'disinclination to travel,'" meaning travel insurance won't pay out if you decide not to board.

  • How many nations have grounded the Boeing planes?
Ethiopian Airlines has grounded its Max 8 jets. Credit: AP Photo/Ben Curtis

A number of airlines have grounded their Boeing fleet of the 737 Max 8 model, including Royal Air Maroc, Cayman Airways and Mongolian Airlines.

Eithopian Airlines grounded its fleet of 737 Max 8s, shuffling flights to use other craft.

Chinese and Indonesian regulators ordered their airlines to temporarily ground their models on Monday.

Singapore's own air regulator also temporarily suspended operation of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft, variations of which number 7 to 10, into and out of its airports.

Australia's civil aviation safety authority said it had suspended the model flying into or out of the country.

  • Has this happened before in the UK?

The last time a model of aircraft was grounded in Britain was when problems with lithium batteries were discovered on board Boeing's 787 Dreamliner planes in 2013.

The planes were grounded for several months until the problems were resolved.