WestJet proactively cancels 200+ flights in and out of Toronto Pearson, Vancouver Airport and more amid winter storms

WestJet to bring back 737 MAX this month

CALGARY — Following Transport Canada’s greenlight for the embattled 737 MAX, WestJet has announced that it intends to phase the aircraft back into passenger service starting Jan. 21.

Taking a phased to re-entry, the MAX aircraft will resume service on non-commercial test flights in mid-January. On Jan. 21, pending Transport Canada’s reopening of Canadian airspace to commercial flights for the 737 MAX, WestJet plans to operate three roundtrip flights per week between Calgary and Toronto.

The schedule will remain in place for four weeks while evaluating further routes and additional frequencies. WestJet currently operates six daily flights between the two cities.

“As we continue working with Transport Canada on the additional Canadian requirements, our first MAX will be ready to return safely to service as of Jan. 21,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “While we don’t have final confirmation on when Transport Canada will open Canadian airspace to the 737 MAX aircraft, in the interest of transparency we are sharing our intent to fly once this confirmation is received.”

Transport Canada first announced on Dec. 17, 2020 that its safety experts had validated the aircraft design changes and outlined requirements for Canadian carriers. The 737 MAX has been grounded worldwide since March 2019 following two crashes five months apart, one involving Indonesia’s Lion Air and the other an Ethiopian Airlines flight.

“The FAA, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and numerous other regulatory bodies around the world have spent more than a year examining the MAX aircraft to provide recommended changes to software, pilot training and maintenance requirements. We are confident with the changes they have mandated,” continued Sims. “In particular, the deliberate, detailed and independent scrutiny applied by Transport Canada’s National Aircraft Certification team, which prescribed additional requirements to pilot procedures and training, provides further confidence in the aircraft and its safe return.”

WestJet has created a variety of resources to assist guests in feeling comfortable, including a behind-the-scenes video looking at the pilot and maintenance team efforts that went into safely returning the aircraft to the skies. Details can be found on the website: www.westjet.com/maxinfo.

Get travel news right to your inbox!