Air Canada Suspending Some Routes, Substituting Aircraft, As It Adjusts Schedule After Boeing 737 Max Grounding

By Paul Riegler on 19 March 2019
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IMG_0595Air Canada announced changes to its flying schedule that came about as a result of the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max.

The 737 Max was grounded worldwide as the result of the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max that had similarities to the October crash of a Lion Air 737 Max.

The Montreal-based airline currently has 24 Boeing 737 Max aircraft in its fleet and had expected to take delivery of six more in March and April. Boeing has temporarily suspended deliveries while investigations of the accidents are underway. In addition, the timeline for the aircraft to return the air is unknown at this point and will depend on the outcome of the investigations in great measure.

As a result, Air Canada removed the 737 Max, which accounted for 6% of its total flying, from its schedule until at least July 1, 2019.

The elimination of the 737 Max will have a “domino effect” across the fleet, said Lucie Guillemette, the airline’s chief commercial officer, who said that the airline is working very hard to minimize the impact.

Air Canada is temporarily suspending some routes including Halifax and St. John’s to London Heathrow and seasonal flights from Vancouver to Kona, Lihue, as well as Calgary to Palm Springs.

On some routes, it is substituting similar or larger aircraft and it is extending the leases on several aircraft that it was scheduled to retire.

It is also accelerating the processing of several Airbus A321 aircraft which it acquired from Wow Airlines and it is also using charter carriers and wet-leasing aircraft to operate certain routes including Montreal to Cancun.

Finally, it is deploying Air Canada Rouge aircraft on several mainline routes.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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