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CALGARYCanada's second-largest airline WestJet will operate today the first commercial Boeing 737 MAX flight on the Calgary - Vancouver route since the aircraft was grounded in March 2019 following two deadly crashes.

Transport Canada lifted its grounding order for the MAX on Jan 20 after approving design changes to the plane and requiring pilots to undergo additional training.

Beginning January 22, WestJet said it would operate the Boeing 737 MAX planes three times per week on flights between Calgary and Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. That schedule will remain in place for four weeks, the airline said, as it evaluates additional routes and flight frequencies. Currently, WestJet operates six flights per day between Calgary and Toronto, they said.

“We are dedicated to restoring guest confidence in this aircraft through our safe operation while providing the transparency and the flexibility that some of our guests may still require,” said Ed Sims, the President, and CEO of WestJet, in a release.

“We will be forthcoming with our guests on where the MAX aircraft are flying, and we will be flexible with our change and cancel the policy to ensure our guests can make their travel plans confidently.”

Boeing 737 MAX planes have been grounded in Canada since March 2019, following a pair of deadly crashes. The aircraft was involved in the crash of Lion Air Flight 610 in 2018, which killed 189 people, and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in 2019, in which 157 people died.

Air Canada is expected to follow suit on Feb. 1.


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