Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
CALGARY — As of March 25, WestJet’s 13 Boeing 737 MAX-8 aircraft will be removed from its flight schedules through the end of April.
The airline has provided the update following Transport Canada’s safety notice to close Canadian airspace to the aircraft. It also said that it continues to “monitor this dynamic situation” and will “balance further extension of a revised schedule” as more information becomes available.
WestJet has 168 aircraft, or more than 93% of its overall fleet, that remain in service. It assures travel agents that they can book their clients with confidence knowing that it continues to fly throughout the network with the safety of guests and employees as the priority.
Since the grounding of the MAX-8, of the more than 65,000 guests booked on MAX flights up to March 31, more than 85% had little to no changes to their flight schedules.
“We are closely in contact with Boeing, Transport Canada and other regulators to understand how and when to safely reintroduce the MAX-8 aircraft into service,” WestJet said in its update. “WestJet remains unrelenting in putting safety at the forefront and will thoroughly evaluate processes, procedures and any further required training before these aircraft once again take to the skies.”
In the case a client is impacted and needs to make adjustments, agents can continue to use the existing waiver code BMAX0319. For more information regarding this waiver code, go to https://www.westjettravelagents.com/app/uploads/2019/03/Waiver-Code-March-13-2019-V2.pdf.