OTTAWA/MONTREAL (AFP, REUTERS) – Canada’s transport ministry said Monday it has approved the Boeing 737 Max to fly again in this country starting on Wednesday (Jan 20), ending a nearly two-year grounding following two deadly crashes.
After a review of design changes and additional pilot training for the jetliner, Transport Canada said it “will lift the existing Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) which prohibits commercial operation of the aircraft in Canadian airspace on January 20, 2021.”
“This will allow for the return to service of the aircraft in Canada,” it said in a statement.
Canadian airlines, it added, are expected to be ready to return the aircraft to service “in the coming days and weeks.”
Air Canada said it would resume Boeing 737 Max commercial operations on Feb 1. The airline said the aircraft would gradually return to its North American route network.
Canada’s number two carrier WestJet has said it planned to return its fleet of Boeing 737 Max aircraft to the skies on Thursday, after Boeing addressed technical issues and improved pilot training.
Sunwing also has 737 Max aircrafts in its fleet.
The 737 Max crisis began with a 2018 crash of the jet in Indonesia, followed by another in March 2019 in Ethiopia, which killed a total of 346 people and saw the aircraft taken out of service across the globe.
Brazil was the first country to allow it to return to service, starting with a domestic flight in December by Brazilian budget carrier Gol, followed by American Airlines in the United States.