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

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Big Beach parties spark concern in Ucluelet

“You find needles, left over party debris, bottles and still burning fires.”

Ucluelet’s Terrace Beach Resort is for sale

The commercial offering of 21 suites and cabins was recently listed for $4,495,000

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

Fisherman snags barracuda off Vancouver Island in rare encounter

Ferocious fish, not native to Canada, was netted and released in Alberni Inlet

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Washington’s NFL team drops ‘Redskins’ name after 87 years

The franchise was given the name back in 1933, when it was still in Boston

Most Read