Air Canada leasing additional aircraft as it extends grounding of Boeing 737 MAX

Oct 16 2019, 12:45 pm

Air Canada is extending the grounding of its Boeing 737 MAX once again.

The airline had initially extended the grounding of its 737 MAX planes until August 1, 2019. It then extended that date to “at least January 2020.”

And on Wednesday, Air Canada said it has now removed the Boeing 737 Max from its flying schedule until February 14, 2020.

The decision is based on operational considerations for the airline, as it launches a new reservation system beginning next month, according to the airline.

“We are taking this prudent step as a result of the ongoing regulatory uncertainty about the timing of the aircraft returning to service. The extension will give us scheduling predictability through the implementation of the first phase of our new reservation system and the required stability as we prepare the second phase of the system roll-out, introducing it into the airport environment,” said Lucie Guillemette, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Air Canada.

Additionally, Guillemette said that Air Canada is leasing two additional wide-body aircraft through at least the March Break.

In compliance with a safety notice closing Canadian airspace to the plane, issued by Transport Canada on March 13, 2019, Air Canada grounded its fleet of 24 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

They say the final decisions on returning the 737 MAX to service will be based on Air Canada’s safety assessment following the lifting of government safety notices and approval by international regulatory authorities.

Air Canada is one of the most impacted airlines in the world by Boeing 737 MAX grounding, which occurred after two fatal crashes of Boeing 737 planes, 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.

Canada grounded of all Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 fleets in March, and Boeing cut its production of the aircraft following the grounding internationally.