WestJet airline has announced for January 21, 2021, the return to the air of its Boeing 737 MAX 8, while the MAX 9 of United Airlines will resume service on February 11 first between Denver and Houston, other routes him now being acquired.
Subject to Transport Canada’s agreement, WestJet set yesterday for Thursday, January 21 the return to commercial service of its MAX 8, with a priori three weekly rotations between Calgary and Toronto-Pearson airports – a route offered six times a day currently The Canadian company specifies in a press release that it will adopt « a gradual approach » for the resumption of service of its re-engined single-aisle, starting with « non-commercial test flights » from mid-January. The schedule will be in effect for four weeks, during which time the carrier WestJet will « assess the possibility » of adding routes and increasing the frequency of flights by next April.
Before their immobilization on the ground in March 2019, following two accidents which killed 346 at Lion Air and then Ethiopian Airlines, WestJet had received 13 of the 22 MAX 8 ordered, configured to accommodate 12 passengers in Premium class and 162 in Economy (it is also waiting for twelve MAX 10).
The CEO of WestJet Ed Sims pointed out yesterday: « even if we do not know the exact moment when Transport Canada will open Canadian airspace to 737 MAX aircraft (the validation of the changes was announced in December Ed), we are being transparent by communicating our intention to fly once this confirmation has been received ”. Recalling that the FAA, EASA « and many other regulators around the world » have spent over a year reviewing MAXs to make recommendations for software changes, pilot training and to maintenance requirements, he says he is « determined to restore our guests’ confidence in this aircraft through our safe operation while providing the transparency and flexibility that some of our guests still need. » We will be transparent with our guests about where our MAX aircraft are in service, and we have flexible change and cancellation policies in place to allow our guests to plan their trips with confidence ”.