WestJet suspends some routes due to Boeing 737 Max 8 grounding

WestJet has suspended several of its routes due to the ongoing grounding of Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.

Halifax to Paris, Edmonton to Ottawa flights among those suspended through July

WestJet has suspended some routes through July due to the ongoing grounding of Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft. (Janos Englert)

WestJet has suspended several of its routes due to the ongoing grounding of Boeing's 737 Max 8 aircraft.

Canada grounded the jets and banned them from its airspace in mid-March after two deadly crashes, following in the footsteps of the U.K., the European Union and other countries.

Early reports from investigations into the crashes appear to show there was an erroneous software reading that prompted the plane's safety system to force its nose down, giving the pilots little time to correct the error.

WestJet has 13 of the 737 Max 8s in its fleet, and the planes were expected to comprise more than 1,000 of the airline's departures in the month of June.

The airline said in a blog post on Sunday it's been able to cover more than 700 of those routes with other aircraft, but some routes are being temporarily suspended for the time being.

Those routes are:

  • Flights between Halifax and Paris between June 3 and Aug. 2.
  • Flights between Edmonton and Ottawa between June 3 and July 3.
  • Flights between Edmonton and Montreal between June 3 and July 3.
  • Flights between Toronto and Kelowna between June 3 and June 27.
  • Flights between Vancouver and Regina between June 3 and July 3.

The airline said travellers booked on those flights are being contacted, and will be rebooked either on a WestJet flight or a partner airline. 

Air Canada made a similar announcement on Thursday, adjusting its routes and cancelling some flights through July.

It's not yet known how long the aircraft will be grounded. 

Boeing is pushing through a new software update and plans to provide pilots with additional training, but regulators will have the final say on when the planes are allowed back in the air.


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