As of March 13th, 2019, Canada is grounding all of its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft and banning the jet from entering its airspace until further notice. “This safety notice restricts commercial passenger flights from any air operator, both domestic and foreign, of the Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 aircraft from arriving, departing, or overflying Canadian airspace,” Transport Minister Marc Garneau told reporters earlier today.
If you aren’t up to date on the situation, safety concerns continue to mount following two deadly crashes of the new Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 in the past 5 months. On Sunday, March 10th, 2019, an Ethiopian Airlines jetliner reported “flight-control problems” to air traffic control just before crashing shortly after take off. This disaster follows another fatal crash in a similar fashion of the 737 Max 8 jet in Indonesia five months ago, which raises concerns about the fleet’s automated flight systems.
Canada had been one of the last holdouts on temporarily banning the Max 8s in the wake of the crashes, followed only by the United States. The U.K., the European Union, Australia and other countries had moved already to ban the jet from their airspace in response to growing safety concerns. However both Canada and the U.S. have now grounded the planes as well.
Air Canada, which already had cancelled multiple scheduled flights to and from London in response to the U.K. closing its airspace, said it’s working to rebook passengers. They have stated that their cancellation and rebooking policies are in place with full fee waiver for affected customers. They are working to rebook impacted customers as soon as possible, but “given the magnitude of our 737 MAX operations, which on average carry nine to twelve thousand customers per day, customers can expect delays in rebooking and in reaching Air Canada call centres.”
WestJet and Sunwing have also said they will begin complying with Transport Canada’s direction and ground the MAX aircrafts.
If you are concerned that you were scheduled to fly on a Boeing 737 MAX 8 or MAX 9 plane but aren’t sure, please visit Seatguru.com and enter your flight information to ensure whether this is the case.
Travel Best Bets is working with Air Canada, WestJet & Sunwing to accommodate the temporary removal of the MAX 8 & MAX 9 planes from Canadian airspace. If you have a Travel Best Bets trip coming up soon, we will be in contact with you regarding flight changes and we appreciate your patience at this time.