737 MAX information

The safety of our guests and crew are our top priority and we are committed to providing timely information about our MAX aircraft. Due to the continued closure of the Canadian airspace, WestJet's MAX aircraft remain grounded.

The most recent approval of the Federal Aviation Administration is the first step in returning the MAX aircraft to service. As a next step, Canada’s regulator, Transport Canada, will complete its own independent validation process before reopening the Canadian skies. The work by Transport Canada and other independent regulators around the globe, in combination with our own preparation, processes and due diligence, gives us confidence in returning these aircraft to service once Transport Canada opens the skies to the MAX.

Our MAX aircraft will only return to service once all requirements are met or exceeded and we are certain they are safe and ready to return to active service in the WestJet fleet. 

Frequently asked questions

Does WestJet have confidence in the safety of its Boeing fleet?

WestJet is confident in the safety of its Boeing 737 fleet and in the experience, training and capability of all WestJet flight crews. We have flown five different variants of the Boeing 737 since 1996, and the fleet currently operates around 450 safe daily B737 departures.

Our full Boeing fleet has provided WestJet with safe operations for the past 23 years.

WestJet has 13 MAX aircraft in our fleet. Overall WestJet has 181 aircraft which include Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Boeing 737, Bombardier Q400 and we also fly guests on Saab 340 aircraft through a capacity purchase agreement with Pacific Coastal. For more information on our aircraft types, visit our blog.

WestJet’s MAX aircraft were first introduced in 2017 and we have flown five different variants of the Boeing 737 since 1996. The MAX aircraft have been performing reliably, efficiently and safely for WestJet since their introduction.

WestJet has safely flown more than 1.3 million guests and operated over 9,000 flights on the MAX since 2017.

The 737 MAX is an evolution on the 737 family of aircraft. When it comes to training and experience, our pilots are the most experienced operators of 737s in Canada, having safely flown millions of 737 flight hours throughout our operating history. Our pilots have maintained currency on the 737-fleet, continuing to safely operate approximately 400 daily 737 departures. During this time, our pilots have also been actively engaged in our recurrent training programs that see them return to the simulator no less than every six months.

While we do not have a timeline for return to service, we continue to work with Boeing and Transport Canada to understand when and how to safely return our MAX to the skies.

We have never had an issue related to the MCAS software.

Once Transport Canada opens the skies, WestJet’s MAX aircraft will be updated and all 13 aircraft will be flown in a validation flight prior to return to service.

In addition, all comprehensive mandatory and regulatory pilot training and education will be complete for our pilots flying the MAX aircraft.

While the MAX hasn’t been flying commercially it has been in an active storage program. This means that our aircraft maintenance team checks critical operating systems and run the engines on a weekly basis. In addition to this, with permission from Transport Canada, we have also been able to fly the MAX to maintenance facilities in Canada when required.   

Safety Above All

While WestJet has 13 MAX aircraft, we have a total of 181 aircraft altogether. Whether you are flying on a 737NG, 737 MAX, 787 Dreamliner, Bombardier Q400 or a Saab, our teams are committed to an uncompromising quality of work, preparation and safety. From pilots, to flight crew to maintenance engineers, the safety of our guests and crew will never be compromised.

Go Beyond the Aircraft with WestJetters John, Tim and Elisa, to see the thousands of hours of preparation, training and care that go into every WestJet flight.

John - WestJet Captain

Tim - Aircraft Maintenance Engineer

Elisa - Cabin Crew

While the environment has changed, our commitment to your safety hasn't. The filming of this video series occurred prior to COVID-19 and our safety protocols have since been updated to include more than 20 additional safety measures. See all the ways we ensure your Safety Above All.

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