Air Canada is extending the grounding of its 737 MAX planes until August 1, 2019.
In a news release, Air Canada says the decision was made in order to “provide customers greater certainty for their summer travel plans.”
“The changes are in response to the continued grounding by Transport Canada of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, which has now been removed from Air Canada’s schedule until August 1,” said the airline.
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Following two fatal crashes of Boeing 737 planes over the past several months including an Ethiopian Airlines flight that killed all 157 passengers and crew members, Canadian airlines had initially decided to keep the planes in service. This was met with a significant amount of concern across the nation.
Canadian airlines then decided to revise flight schedules and remove the planes from service, which began with Sunwing’s temporary suspension of all Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes.
In March, Air Canada announced that the Boeing 737 models would initially be removed from service until July 1.
Now, Air Canada Executive Vice President Lucie Guillemette says the company is adjusting its schedule and “finalizing arrangements for additional aircraft to transport customers to their destinations.”
“Through these measures, we are giving customers certainty to book their summer travel plans on Air Canada with full confidence. We understand the importance our customers attach to their summer travel and through the actions we are announcing today, Air Canada now has in place a schedule and the capacity to meet travellers’ needs.”
Air Canada has not finalized a timeline for the 737 MAX to return to service. Final decisions regarding the aircraft will be based on the airline’s safety assessment following the lifting of government safety notices and approval by international aircraft authorities.
Earlier this month, Boeing announced that it will be cutting the production rate of all 737 MAX 8 and 9 fleets.
With files from Kellie Paxian.