Some Calgary flights cancelled after Canada grounds Boeing 737 MAX jets
Published Thursday, March 14, 2019 8:21AM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, March 14, 2019 8:52AM MDT
Canada has grounded Boeing’s 737 MAX jets over safety concerns and that has caused a number of flight cancellations at the Calgary International Airport.
Canada, the U.S. and about 40 other countries grounded all Boeing 737 MAX 8 passenger jets from their airspaces after the deadly crash on Sunday in Ethiopia that killed everyone on board, including 18 Canadians.
Transport Minister Marc Garneau said at a news conference on Wednesday that the decision to ground the planes is a precautionary move after reviewing the evidence.
He said there are similarities between the Ethiopian Airlines flight profile and that of a Lion Air flight involving the same aircraft that crashed off the Indonesian coast in October.
Garneau said the similarities "exceed a certain threshold in our minds with respect to the possible cause of what happened in Ethiopia. This is not conclusive, but it is something that points possibly in that direction, and at this point we feel that threshold has been crossed."
The MAX 8 and the new version, the MAX 9, cannot fly in, out or over Canada and that has caused flight cancellations across the country including here in Calgary.
Officials at the Calgary airport say there were 14 flights cancelled on Wednesday and six are being cancelled on Thursday.
“At the moment we’re putting our focus on operations today and assisting airlines as they try to swap aircraft and potentially move them around to different gates,” said Reid Fiest, from the Calgary Airport Authority.
The airport is storing 10 of the aircraft and says it has the flexibility to store more.
“Currently, we are working with our airline partners to store aircraft here at YYC,” said Fiest.
Airlines are working to accommodate those passengers who are affected by the flight cancellations.
WestJet said in a statement on Wednesday that it is complying with the Transport Canada decision and that it is grounding the 13 MAX aircraft in its fleet.
Air Canada has 24 MAX 8 aircraft, which it uses mainly for domestic and U.S. routes, and cancelled London-bound flights from Halifax and St. John's, N.L., after the UK banned all Boeing MAX 8 jets from its airspace.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency order to ground the jets on Wednesday saying it made the decision based on ‘newly refined satellite data’ and ‘new evidence collected at the site and analyzed.’
The FAA says it is assisting the NTSB with the investigation into the crash of Flight 302 and that the grounding of the MAX aircraft will remain in effect until the examination of the flight data and cockpit voice recorders is complete.
To check arrival and departure information at the Calgary International Airport, click HERE.
(With files from The Canadian Press)