WestJet cancels Boeing 737 MAX flight moments before takeoff

Jan 23 2021, 6:46 pm

WestJet cancelled a Boeing 737 MAX flight after it had already left its gate at Calgary International Airport on January 22.

A spokesperson for the airline confirmed to Daily Hive that WestJet flight WS658, which was supposed to travel to Toronto, had to return to its gate after push off on Friday morning.

“After a normal engine start, a standard function of the health monitoring system indicated a potential fault that needed to be verified and reset,” said Lauren Stewart, a media relations manager at WestJet.

“This process takes time and requires a subsequent engine run, which we do not perform with guests on board.”

The flight, as well as its Toronto to Calgary return, were cancelled in the interest of passenger’s time. Guests were rebooked on the next available flight.

Stewart stressed that the decision to cancel the flight was only made because there was space on a Toronto-bound Dreamliner flight.

Had passengers not already been on their way, the WS658 flight would have operated as normal following the all-clear by a maintenance team, she said. The plane has since been inspected and will return to operation on January 24.

“There was no safety risk to our guests and this was unrelated to any previous matter,” Stewart said.

In March 2019, Transport Canada grounded Boeing 737 MAX planes across the country following a pair of deadly crashes that killed 346 people.

The aircraft’s return-to-service was approved on January 18, 2021. WestJet began flying the planes on January 21, the first airline in Canada to do so in nearly two years.

Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

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