WestJet says its 737 Max 8s will stay grounded until June on advice from Boeing
Change marks the 9th delay of plane's return to service
WestJet Airlines Ltd. says it is removing Boeing's grounded 737 Max jet from flight schedules through June 24 following the manufacturer's latest guidance about regulatory approval for the plane to fly again.
The Calgary-based airline says the change marks the ninth delay of the plane's return to service after regulatory authorities across the globe banned the Max from the skies last March following two fatal crashes in five months.
Boeing advised customers and suppliers Tuesday that it currently estimates the plane will remain grounded until mid-year.
It says the forecast is based on its experience with the certification process, its ongoing attempts to address known schedule risks and developments that may arise in connection with the certification process.
Further details are to be presented during Boeing's quarterly results to be released next week.
WestJet CEO Ed Sims said the airline is confident in the regulatory process undertaken by the Federal Aviation Authority and Transport Canada to ensure the safe return of the aircraft.
The airline said it has completed more than 98 per cent of planned departures even while its 13 Max aircraft remain on the ground.
Air Canada, which has so far pulled the grounded jet from its schedules through March 31, said it is still awaiting decisions from relevant regulatory authorities who will determine the plane's safe return to service.