Air Canada Rouge delays direct Nanaimo-Toronto flight launch until July

Airline says grounding of Boeing 737 Max aircraft impacting service company-wide

Direct flights from Nanaimo to Canada’s most populous city will take off later than expected.

Air Canada has moved the start of its Nanaimo-Toronto seasonal service to July 1. Flights between the two cities were to begin on June 20.

The airline’s low-cost subsidiary, Air Canada Rouge, will operate the route using an Airbus A319 as originally planned.

Angela Mah, Air Canada spokesperson, said in an e-mail that customers who booked flights prior to July 1 will be contacted for alternative travel arrangements or a refund. She said the delay is due to ongoing fleet adjustments following the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.

“This is as a result of the ongoing adjustments Air Canada has undertaken as a result of the grounding of the 737 Max fleet, which has necessitated the juggling of our overall schedule to optimize and balance the fleet and schedule,” she said. “Though the Nanaimo-Toronto service was not planned with the 737 Max, we have implemented a number of schedule changes including the planned delay of some summer seasonal routes as as part of our overall schedule mitigation plans.”

Mike Hooper, the Nanaimo Airport president and chief executive officer, said the airport is aware of Air Canada’s decision and is looking forward to its return in July.

Transport Canada banned all variants of Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft from entering Canadian Airspace in March following the fatal crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 due to safety concerns. The Ethiopian Airlines crash, which killed more than 150 people including 18 Canadians, came a few months after a Lion Air Max 8 crashed into the Java Sea near Indonesia. The cause in accidents remain undetermined and concerns have since been raised about the design of the Max 8.

Editorial: Banning new 737 planes had to be done

Air Canada has 24 MAX aircraft in its fleet and has since been making major scheduling and fleet adjustments such as accelerating the intake of recently acquired Airbus A321s.

Canada’s other major airline, WestJet, which has 13 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in its fleet, has also been forced to make adjustments and temporarily suspend a handful of routes.

In a statement to the News Bulletin, WestJet said their Nanaimo operations are not impacted by Transport Canada’s decision and that flights to Vancouver and Calgary are scheduled as normal.

It is unknown when Transport Canada will lift their ban on the Boeing 737 Max series.







nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com 
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

 

Just Posted

Firefighters extinguish brush fire near Port Alberni residential area

Fire was discovered in bush off Kitsuksis Creek Trail

BCHL: Battle for Bulldogs’ roster spots heats up as main camp begins

Alberni Valley’s new head coach will get his first look at revamped Jr. A hockey team

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs add experience to blueline

Jimmy Rayhill commits to Bulldogs as main training camp set to start Aug. 19

Port Alberni cadet learns outdoor skills at Vernon camp

Outdoor skills some of leadership learning activities at annual summer camp

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

Most Read