With the Boeing 737 MAX cleared for operations again in the United States and Brazil, Air Canada is gearing up to take the MAX to the skies once again. Canadian regulators are yet to provide approval for passenger flights with the aircraft but have granted Air Canada permission to conduct training flights.
Air Canada begins training flights with the 737 MAX
The Boeing 737 MAX only recently obtained FAA approval to begin operating passenger flights in the United States again. The plane had been grounded for a total of one year, eight months, and six days after two fatal crashes. Brazil ungrounded the plane soon after the FAA, with many countries across the world expected to lift restrictions in due course. However, despite concluding 737 MAX testing this August, Canadian authorities have yet to recertify the aircraft.
As reported by AeroTime Hub, Air Canada has completed several test flights with the 737 MAX over the past week. Most recently, one 737 MAX (registration C-GEIV) flew from Montreal–Trudeau International Airport (YUL) to Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ) on December 8. Later on the same day, another 737 MAX (registration C-FSNU) carried out a training flight from Edmonton International Airport (YEG) to Vancouver International Airport (YVR).
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No date confirmed for passenger flights
Although Air Canada has been granted training approval by Transport Canada, there is no date on the horizon to begin passenger operations. Canada’s transport authority has stated that its conditions for approval will differ from the FAA. Pascale Dery, the Director of Media Relations at Air Canada, told AeroTime Hub,
“We are awaiting for Canadian regulators to approve the operation of the aircraft in Canadian airspace, after which we will finalize our own plans to re-operate the aircraft.”
The 737 MAX undertook its first commercial flight since March 2019 on 9 December – Brazilian carrier GOL flew the plane from Sao Paulo to Porto Alegre. Despite the United States being the first country to recertify the plane, U.S carriers have yet to reintroduce the plane but are likely to do so in the coming days.
Air Canada cancels 737 MAX orders
While most industry insiders were aware the 737 MAX was likely to be recertified, this hasn’t stopped several airlines from holding or canceling their MAX orders. 88 737 MAX orders were canceled in November alone, with Air Canada canceling 10 MAX’s along with 12 Airbus A220s. United Airlines became the first carrier to take delivery of new 737 MAX’s since its grounding last year, receiving a 737-9 MAX on December 8th.
This is the second time Air Canada has reduced its 737 MAX orders. In March, the carrier reduced its original order of 61 MAX’s down to 50, representing a net reduction of 11 planes. The Canadian airline has been hemorrhaging money since the COVID pandemic, losing over half a billion dollars in the last quarter alone.
Will you feel confident flying on the 737 MAX after it’s been recertified?