Boeing 737 MAX update

The Wall Street Journal has today reported that Ethiopia’s Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges has said that data retrieved from the voice and flight data recorders recovered from Ethiopian Airlines 302 showed similarities to Lion Air flight 610. As many funeral services were held in Ethiopia today, I offer condolences on behalf of our 13,000 WestJetters.

We are grateful that the authorities working on data recovery were able to retrieve this important information so that all parties involved can continue to make fact and evidence-based decisions.

WestJet complied with Transport Canada’s grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX fleet on March 13 and since that time, we have been working diligently to minimize the impact to our guests who have been affected by this grounding.

Despite these fleet challenges, our completion factor (the percentage of flights completed) is 98 per cent and more than 80 per cent of our flights are arriving within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival time. While these statistics are below our normal operating standards, we are pleased that WestJetters across the system have stepped up to assist to keep our guests moving as best we can.

Our two new Boeing 787 Dreamliners continue to fly between Calgary and Toronto and with 320 seats on board each aircraft, it has allowed us to free up other aircraft that would otherwise be flying this route so that they can operate to other destinations.

We will turn, together with the various regulatory bodies involved, our attention to understanding what updates need to be made to the aircraft and what training needs to be developed and implemented to our fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

As time progresses, the attention of regulatory authorities and airlines worldwide will turn to understanding how to safely and successfully reintroduce the MAX aircraft into service. WestJet will continue to be unrelenting in providing nothing less than 100 per cent assurance to all our travelling guests in processes, procedures and any further required training before these aircraft once again take to Canadian skies.

We will keep you informed of our progress and will make every decision with the safety of our guests and our people at the forefront.