Passengers flying out of Vancouver International Airport (YVR) are being instructed to check their flight status following the federal government’s announcement that all Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 planes would be grounded.
“What’s happening right now is that airlines are working to rebook passengers. Check your flight status before coming to the airport,” said Zoe Weber, media relations for YVR.
#YVR just cancelled a ton of flights including mine, but ay least they are bringing us snakcs, water, and puppies to pet.
— Mara Schaffler ✨ (@MaraSchaffler) March 13, 2019
The federal government’s announcement comes just three days after an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed on Sunday, killing all 157 passengers on board, including 18 Canadians.
At a press conference Wednesday morning, Canada’s Transportation Minister Marc Garneau told the media his thoughts “continue to go out to all those affected by the tragic aircraft accident involving an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.”
Flight ET 302 took off on the morning of March 10 at 8:38 am local time from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on route to Nairobi, Kenya. The airport lost contact with the plane just six minutes later at 8:44 am.
According to the airline, the plane underwent “rigorous first check maintenance” on February 4, 2019, and was piloted by a senior captain.
The cause of the crash is currently unknown.
The global tragedy claimed the lives of everyone on board, which included 149 passengers and eight crew members. The victims were of 35 different nationalities. This is the second crash of a MAX 8 in five months.
The Canadian Civil Aircraft Register shows airlines here have 41 of the new Boeing 737 model. Of those, 24 belong to Air Canada, 13 to WestJet, and four to Sunwing.
Ai Canada says it is working to rebook flights affected by the ban as soon as possible.
Our #B737MAX flights are suspended following Transport Canada’s directive to close Canadian airspace to this aircraft. We’re working to get affected customers home and our flexible rebooking policy is in place. More: https://t.co/AFpZFGl1jj
— Air Canada (@AirCanada) March 13, 2019
“We are working to rebook impacted customers as soon as possible. Given the magnitude of our 737-8 operations which on average carry nine to twelve thousand customers per day, customers can expect delays in rebooking and in reaching Air Canada’s Call Centres,” said the airline, in a statement.
WestJet released a similar statement saying that it is “swapping aircraft and making flight changes to accommodate as many people as possible and to minimize the impact to our guests.”
This decision has an impact on the travel plans of our guests and we ask for understanding as we work to rebook all guests affected as quickly as possible.
— WestJet (@WestJet) March 13, 2019
Sunwing said that it will “endeavour to minimize the impact of these schedule changes” adding it will not be cancelling any flights.
Important Information Regarding the Boeing 737 MAX 8
— Sunwing Vacations (@SunwingVacay) March 13, 2019