With no concrete date for the reintroduction of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to its fleet, Air Canada updated its schedule on Thursday through Aug. 1, in order to give its travelers “full confidence” for the busy summer travel season.
"With the continued grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, Air Canada is prudently adjusting its schedule and is finalizing arrangements for additional aircraft to transport customers to their destinations,” Air Canada Executive Vice President and COO Lucie Guillemette said.
“We understand the importance our customers attach to their summer travel, and through the actions we are announcing today, Air Canada now has in place a schedule and the capacity to meet travelers’ needs.”
Air Canada, along with other U.S. airlines including Southwest and United, has been dealing with the absence of the aircraft from its fleet since Mar. 13, the date that both the Canadian and U.S. governments announced the groundings. Air Canada’s fleet included 24 of the 737 MAX jets, with another 12 set to be delivered in July.
In the absence of the expected fleet additions, Air Canada has been substituting different aircraft on the 737 MAX routes, including three Airbus A320 and three Embraer 190, all of which were scheduled to leave the fleet before Air Canada extended the leases because of the MAX absences.
The new schedule includes adjustments for days and times and delays of some seasonal routes, including the Montreal to Bordeaux service that was scheduled to launch June 15 (now July 1) and the Vancouver to Boston service that will now start June 20 instead of June 1. Other routes will be flown with different aircraft, including the Montreal to Los Angeles service (Airbus A330) and the Toronto and Montreal flights to Keflavik (Air Canada Rouge A319s).
Air Canada has suspended a small number of routes because of the groundings — Toronto to Shannon, Toronto to Abbotsford, and Calgary to London, Ontario, have all been suspended for the summer season. Air Canada expects to resume those routes next summer.
For any traveler impacted by the new schedule, Air Canada is offering a full fee waiver and refund option.
by Daniel McCarthy / April 26, 2019