Both Air Canada and WestJet are set to resume flying their Boeing 737 MAX aircraft following approval from Transport Canada for the grounded type to return to flight.
Air Canada will gradually return its aircraft to flying with the introduction of 5 routes out of Toronto Pearson airport, starting 1 February.
These routes are:
The airline is also reportedly planning to return to flying its 737 MAX aircraft on transatlantic routes from Halifax to London Heathrow from March. It previously flew this route with the type before the ban.
“This aircraft has been looked at from nose to tail, wingtip to wingtip,” Air Canada VP of flight operations Murray Strom said. “All systems—not just the systems that were modified with the MAX—but all systems associated with the [MAX] have been carefully scrutinized.”
Just before Air Canada’s resumption, WestJet will also return its Boeing 737 MAX fleet to the air on 21 January.
It will initially operate the aircraft between Calgary and Vancouver, with Calgary to Toronto resuming on 22 January.
The airline plans to operate three roundtrip flights, per week, between Calgary and Toronto. The schedule will remain in place for four weeks, while evaluating further routes and additional frequencies. WestJet currently operates six daily flights between the two cities.
“We are dedicated to restoring guest confidence in this aircraft through our safe operation, while providing the transparency and the flexibility that some of our guests may still require,” concluded Sims. “We will be forthcoming with our guests on where the MAX aircraft are flying, and we will be flexible with our change and cancel policy to ensure our guests can make their travel plans confidently.”
Like Air Canada, WestJet is also planning to resume transatlantic 737 MAX flights, with the Halifax to London Gatwick route already on sale from April.
737 MAX Resumptions So Far
Canada follows the United States and Brazil in seeing carriers resume flying 737 MAX aircraft, with the EU set to allow its return next week.
So far American Airlines and Gol are flying their MAX aircraft on scheduled services, with United Airlines and Spicejet in India expected to resume flying soon.