WestJet delays 737 Max return for another month, affecting about 500 flights

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Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline's facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet Airlines Ltd. says it has scrubbed Boeing's grounded 737 Max jet from flight schedules through April 4. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY — WestJet Airlines Ltd. says it has scrubbed Boeing’s grounded 737 Max jet from flight schedules through April 4.

The move marks the ninth delay to the plane’s return after regulatory authorities across the globe banned the Max from the skies last March following two fatal crashes in five months.

WestJet says the adjustment impacts about 500 more flights on routes that include Toronto-Vancouver and Calgary-Ottawa, with the airline now notifying passengers of rebooking options.

WestJet says it is completing more than 97 per cent of planned departures, despite the reduced capacity and higher fuel and leasing costs brought on by the grounding.

Until the airspace ban, WestJet was planning to add four of Boeing’s marquee aircraft to the 13 Max 8s already in its fleet by the end of 2020.

On Friday, Air Canada told The Canadian Press it has pulled the grounded jet from its schedules through March 31 in a move that impacts passengers already slated for spring getaways and cuts down on flight options for travellers looking to book.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 6, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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