Air Canada Cuts Boeing 737 MAX Order

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Air Canada has reduced its Boeing 737 MAX order. Now, the Canadian carrier will take 11 fewer of the type than initially planned. This news comes as the global 737 MAX grounding stretches beyond the one-year mark.

Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX
Air Canada has cut its order for Boeing 737 MAX aircraft by 11. Photo: Getty Images

Air Canada reduces 737 MAX order

Originally reported by FlightGlobal, Simple Flying reached out to Air Canada for further details. Back in 2013, Air Canada placed an order for 61 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Of these, only 24 have been delivered– all are the MAX 8 variant. Now, the carrier will only take on another 26 MAX 8 aircraft while retaining options for 18 and rights for an additional 30 aircraft.

Air Canada MAX
Air Canada originally purchased 61 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in 2013. Photo: Air Canada

This represents a net reduction of 11 737 MAX aircraft. All of these cuts are MAX 9 aircraft. The MAX 9 is larger than the MAX 8, however, smaller than the MAX 10. The reason, according to Air Canada, is not necessarily because of the type’s global grounding. Rather, Air Canada indicates that its “requirements have evolved” and is thus altering its fleet planning requirements to better meet anticipated needs. The airline also provided the following statement:

Air Canada is fully committed to the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Prior to the aircraft’s grounding in March 2019, we were one of the largest operators of the 737 MAX and we are actively preparing to return this aircraft to service following regulatory and other safety approvals.

Why Air Canada will continue to take MAX aircraft

While the jury is still out on whether passengers will return to the 737 MAX, it makes sense for Air Canada to retain its MAX order. Having a small number of an aircraft type in a large fleet like Air Canada’s is inefficient when it comes to maintenance and crew costs. So, Air Canada will likely still want to take on enough MAX aircraft to make it worth the cost.

Plus, retiring 24 brand new aircraft is something no airline wants to do. However, not taking 11 of the larger MAX 9 aircraft means that Air Canada can cut some unnecessary capacity – especially amid the current slump in travel demand.

Air Canada MAX
Air Canada still has 26 MAX 8 aircraft on order. Photo: Getty

In addition, the MAX is still part of the airline’s growth. And, Airbus cannot currently meet the demand for carriers amid the MAX grounding due to its own delivery delays. This then puts Air Canada in a situation where it makes sense for it to keep its MAX order.

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Air Canada A321
While Air Canada could order Airbus aircraft, Airbus is facing some of its own headwinds. Photo: Air Canada

Air Canada does not have any A320neo aircraft on order. Although, the airline does operate Airbus A320ceo family aircraft and, recently, also the Airbus A220.

Overall

Air Canada has cut its order for 11 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft. Now, the carrier will only take on 26 additional MAX 8 aircraft to take it to a total of 50 MAX 8s in its fleet at the completion of delivery. Although, when that date hits is yet to be determined as the MAX grounding stretches on.

What do you think about Air Canada cutting its 737 MAX 9 order? Let us know in the comments!

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