Calgary, Alberta - Canadian travelers are reluctant to fly with the 737 MAX while the country's airlines prepare for the aircraft's return to service.
50 percent of customers contacted by the Calgary-based WestJet have expressed a lack of trust in the Boeing's plagued single-aisle jet with two deadly crashes.
WestJet chief executive Ed Sims said that a work must be done to regain the confidence of travelers to the aircraft.
There is a very major job to be done to remind our guests of the previous safe track record and to give people confidence that the changes that have been made will make this the safest narrowbody domestic aircraft that has ever flown,
Sims said during an interview.
Air Canada, the country’s largest airline, has withdrawn the 737 MAX from its flight schedule until Feb. 14, 2020. WestJet, the second-largest airline of Canada, has taken out the 737 MAX from the service until Jan. 4, 2020.
WestJet CEO added that he would like to be on a 737 MAX demonstration flight with his family and reporters when the aircraft is cleared to fly again.
Calin Rovinescu, the CEO of Air Canada, said his airline will wait for the decision of the FAA before hiring new 737 MAX pilots.
We’re looking at potentially hiring up to 350 incremental pilots next year,
Air Canada has 24 grounded 737 MAX 8, and WestJet has 13 grounded 737 MAX 8 in their fleets. Air Canada has 37 more 737 MAX series jets (26 MAX 8, 11 MAX 9) on order while WestJet has 43 (22 MAX 7, 9 MAX 8, 12 MAX 10).