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WestJet to reintroduce Boeing 737 Max Thursday in flight from Calgary to Vancouver

Last Updated Jan 21, 2021 at 6:51 am PST

WestJet announced its intent to return its fleet of 737 MAX aircraft to passenger service, in a phased and transparent approach. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)
Summary

WestJet will operate the first Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada on Thursday since the aircraft was grounded in 2019

Boeing 737 Max aircraft grounded in March 2019 after crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia left 346 people dead

Transport Canada lifted its grounding order for the Boeing 737 Max on Wednesday

CALGARY — WestJet Airlines will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada on Thursday since the aircraft was grounded nearly two years ago following two deadly crashes.

Transport Canada lifted its grounding order for the Max on Wednesday after approving design changes to the plane and requiring pilots to undergo additional training.

WestJet executives will hold a press conference after the morning flight between Calgary and Vancouver.

The event is part of a campaign to reintroduce the Max to service while assuring the public that the plane’s safety issues have been addressed.

Transport Canada announced on Monday that it had introduced “unique Canadian measures” for enhanced safety.

“In addition to all reviews, and to provide additional assurances that all measures are in place, an Interim Order that clearly indicates Transport Canada’s expectations and requirements for additional training for crew members was also issued for operators. It is complementary to the design and maintenance requirements of the Airworthiness Directive,” the agency said in the update earlier this week, adding it’s spent “well over 15,000 hours” reviewing the aircraft.

“Canadians and the airline industry can rest assured that Transport Canada has diligently addressed all safety issues prior to permitting this aircraft to return to service in Canadian airspace,” said Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra.

Air Canada is expected to follow suit on Feb. 1 with its first Boeing 737 Max flight since the grounding order took effect.

Air Canada has already said it will offer passengers booked on a Max the option of changing their flight at no extra charge.

The Boeing 737 MAX was grounded in March 2019 after two deadly crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia killed 346 people.

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