air canada boeing 737

Air Canada grounds Boeing 737 Max 8 planes until July

Air Canada has announced that it will be grounding all 24 of its Boeing 737 Max 8 jets until July 1, at the earliest, in light of concerns and confusion surrounding the plane model following a deadly crash in Ethiopia.

A Kenya-bound Max 8 flown by Ethiopian Airlines crashed just minutes after takeoff from Adis Ababa on March 10, killing all 157 people on board.

As news of the tragedy spread, people started to notice (and talk about) how similar the crash was to that of a Boeing 737 Max 8 just five months earlier. A Lion Air flight also went down within moments of takeoff in Indonesia, killing 189 passengers and crew members on October 29.

By Tuesday morning, March 12, dozens of international airlines had taken their Boeing 737 Max 8s out of service in response to the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

Countries such as China, Australia, India, Iraq, Singapore, Malaysia, Oman, The United Arab Emirates, the entire European Union, all of The U.K., The U.S. and, as of last Wednesday, Canada, have also now banned the aircraft from their respective airspaces.

Air Canada announced Tuesday morning that, as a result of Transport Canada's closure of its airspace, it had grounded all of the Boeing 737 Max 8s within its fleet.

Despite this, the airline still intends to get pre-booked passengers where they need to be on time.

"Air Canada is now updating its May schedule to further optimize its fleet and re-accommodate customers," reads a statement for the company.

"Because the timeline for the return to service of the 737 MAX is unknown, for planning purposes and to provide customers certainty for booking and travel, Air Canada intends to remove 737 MAX flying from its schedule until at least July 1, 2019."

Air Canada is assuring customers with travel plans between now and July that they will be informed of every schedule revision. The airline will be leaning on its "deep global network and many partner airlines" to minimize disruptions."

"The Boeing 737 MAX accounted for six per cent of Air Canada's total flying, but there is a domino effect from removing the 737s from our fleet that impacts the schedule and ultimately will impact some customers," says Air Canada Executive Vice President Lucie Guillemette of the situation.

"We have been working very hard to minimize that impact."

Lead photo by

Liam Allport


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