A look at what Canadian airlines are doing with their Boeing 737 MAX 8s fleets

WATCH ABOVE: Air Canada to keep Boeing 737 MAX planes grounded until at least January, WestJet until November (July 30)

MONTREAL — Canada’s two biggest airlines are taking different tacks to stow their Boeing 737 MAX 8s as the aircraft’s drawn-out grounding continues to cause turbulence in the flight industry.

Air Canada says it is mulling banishing its two-dozen MAX 8s to the desert, where the hot, dry conditions keep corrosion by rain, snow, sleet and ice at bay.

READ MORE: Air Canada grounds Boeing 737 MAX jets up to January 2020

Most North American desert storage locations sit in the southern U.S. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. has plunked its 34 Maxes in California’s Mojave Desert.

WestJet Airlines Ltd. says it has no plans to park its 13 MAX 8s — which it has scrubbed from its schedule until November — south of the border. The planes are languishing in its Canadian hangars, where they receive regular maintenance checks and have their engines run once a week.

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Boeing announces delay in fix for Boeing MAX series aircraft
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The contingency arrangement adds another wrinkle to the plans of airlines blown off course by the MAX 8 grounding, prompted after two crashes in October and March that killed 346 people, including 18 Canadians.

READ MORE: Toronto man who lost family in Boeing crash doubts he’ll see share of $50M fund

Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu said last month it will feel the grounding “acutely” this summer, as its passenger capacity declines and costs for less fuel-efficient replacement planes mount.

WestJet chief executive Ed Sims told The Canadian Press in a recent interview the loss of the narrow-body jetliner has had a “substantial negative impact” on the airline, forcing the airline to cut its routes and ramp up fuel spending.

Sunwing Airlines Inc., which has four MAX 8s, said Thursday the absence — which will continue at least until mid-May 2020 — has forced it to cancel or change flights for passengers “and may have caused them an inconvenience” after the airline contracted third-party carriers.

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