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WestJet delays 737 Max return for another month, affecting about 500 flights

Click to play video: 'FAA chief says Boeing 737 Max will return to service after safety issues addressed' FAA chief says Boeing 737 Max will return to service after safety issues addressed
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Stephen Dickson spoke to a House transportation panel this week about the condition of the Boeing 737 Max, suggesting the aircraft won’t be able to fly until 2020 – Dec 11, 2019

WestJet Airlines Ltd. says it has scrubbed Boeing‘s grounded 737 Max jet from flight schedules through April 4.

The move marks the ninth delay to the plane’s return after regulatory authorities across the globe banned the Max from the skies last March following two fatal crashes in five months.

READ MORE: Air Canada, WestJet keeping Boeing 737 MAX off their flight schedules until March

Click to play video: 'Halifax man blasts WestJet for mistreatment on flight from Toronto' Halifax man blasts WestJet for mistreatment on flight from Toronto
Halifax man blasts WestJet for mistreatment on flight from Toronto – Oct 9, 2019

WestJet says the adjustment impacts about 500 more flights on routes that include Toronto-Vancouver and Calgary-Ottawa, with the airline now notifying passengers of rebooking options.

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WestJet says it is completing more than 97 per cent of planned departures, despite the reduced capacity and higher fuel and leasing costs brought on by the grounding.

READ MORE: WestJet aircraft slides off runway at Halifax airport

Until the airspace ban, WestJet was planning to add four of Boeing’s marquee aircraft to the 13 Max 8s already in its fleet by the end of 2020.

Click to play video: '2019 was one of the safest years on record for air travel' 2019 was one of the safest years on record for air travel
2019 was one of the safest years on record for air travel – Jan 1, 2020

On Friday, Air Canada told The Canadian Press it has pulled the grounded jet from its schedules through March 31 in a move that impacts passengers already slated for spring getaways and cuts down on flight options for travellers looking to book.

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