Air Canada will remove the Boeing 737 MAX from its flight schedules until at least July 1, due to the unknown timeline of its return to service.
The airline said that as the 737 MAX accounts for around six percent of its flying, it has already adjusted flight schedules to April 30, covering 98 percent of operations.
“There is a domino effect from removing the 737s from our fleet that impacts the schedule and ultimately will impact some customers,” EVP Lucie Guillemette said. “We have been working very hard to minimise that impact.”
To reduce the impact, Air Canada has replaced the 737 MAXs with similar-sized or larger aircraft, and extended some leases for planes that were due to leave the fleet.
It is also accelerating the intake of recently acquired Airbus A321s from WOW Air and contracted other carriers to provide additional capacity. Some Air Canada Rouge regional aircraft have also been switched to operate mainline flights.
The airline said it has had to suspend temporarily some services the 737 MAX was scheduled to operate. This includes flights from Halifax and St. John's to London Heathrow, and seasonal flights from Vancouver to Kona, Lihue and Calgary-Palm Springs. Customers will be re-booked on other flights.
Air Canada has a fleet of 24 737 MAX aircraft, with six more scheduled for delivery during March and April. Boeing has suspended deliveries of all 737 MAX, although it is continuing to produce the aircraft pending a return to service.