737 MAX information

Last updated: January 20, 2021

The safety of our guests and crew is our top priority and we are committed to providing timely information about our 737 MAX aircraft.

Transport Canada has reopened the skies to commercial service on the 737 MAX aircraft. We are preparing for a safe and phased return to service. This is following Transport Canada’s December 17, 2020 independent validation of the Boeing MAX changes and training requirements for Canadian carriers.

Starting January 21, we  will operate three weekly round trip flights between Calgary and Toronto on our MAX. We currently operate up to six daily roundtrip flights between the two cities, allowing for guest flexibility in choosing an alternative flight. Our first commercial flight on the MAX is between Calgary and Vancouver on Thursday, January 21.

Preparing our MAX for flight

WestJet’s Chief 737 Pilot Jimmy-Dean Porter and Director of Line Maintenance John Romane share a behind-the-scenes look at how we are preparing our MAX for return to service. See first-hand the incredible level of preparation and care that’s gone into putting your safety above all.

"Our pilots will conduct MAX simulator training as well as extensive briefings, computer modules and evaluations. We’ll also conduct validation flights with every aircraft before flying any of our guests to ensure the aircraft operates as we intend it to.”
– Jimmy Dean Porter, Chief 737 Pilot

“Our maintenance teams will dedicate 2,000 work hours to each of our 737 MAX aircraft, implementing and testing the updates prior to them returning to service.”
- John Romane, Director of Line Maintenance

Message from Ed Sims, President and Chief Executive Officer, WestJet

Ed Sims

As WestJet’s CEO, I oversee the safety and security of hundreds of WestJet, WestJet Encore and WestJet Link flights a day. The safety of our guests and our people is always above all other considerations, for me and for everyone at our airline.

Now that Transport Canada has reopened the skies to the 737 MAX for commercial flying, WestJet has implemented all required changes, conducted our test flights and completed all regulatory-required pilot training.

We will continue to be unrelenting in providing nothing less than 100 per cent assurance to all our travelling guests and crews that all decisions are made with safety at the forefront.

Thank you for the trust you place in us.

Ed Sims
WestJet Airlines

Flexible change/cancel policy

While we are 100 per cent confident in the safety of the 737 MAX aircraft, we understand that not all guests have the same comfort level, and we will be providing flexibility to change and cancel bookings.  If your itinerary states that you are booked on a flight served by our 737 MAX and you would like to make a change to your current booking, please review our flexible change/cancel policy.

Frequently asked questions

If I am booking a flight, how will I know if the aircraft is a MAX?

We are committed to providing our guests with transparency around the aircraft they will be travelling on. Details are available in: 

  • the booking process on westjet.com and through the WestJet app
  • the itinerary/confirmation email from WestJet
  • You can also view our flight guide to see aircraft type.

When booking through a travel agent (online or directly), corporate travel arranger or another airline partner, please contact them directly for aircraft type

While WestJet is 100 per cent confident in the safety of our MAX aircraft, we understand that not all our guests have the same comfort level, and we will be offering flexible change/cancel options.

We are planning to operate three weekly round trip flights between Calgary and Toronto on our MAX starting January 21. We currently operate up to six daily roundtrip flights between the two cities allowing for guest flexibility in choosing an alternative flight. Our first commercial flight on the MAX will be between Calgary and Vancouver on Thursday, January 21.

WestJet’s MAX aircraft have been updated with the Transport Canada-required changes and all aircraft flown on 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.

Airlines in Canada are heavily regulated and Transport Canada’s role is to ensure the safety of commercial (civil) aviation in Canada. Transport Canada aviation safety experts have completed their independent review of the necessary modifications to the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and have validated the changes most recently certified by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA.) Validation of these changes means that these modifications can be actioned on WestJet’s 737 MAX aircraft and WestJet 737 MAX pilots can commence their comprehensive mandatory training.

Yes. Transport Canada requires that all MAX aircraft undergo a validation flight before returning to commercial service. WestJet will only return the aircraft to service once we are fully satisfied and 100 per cent confident in its safety.

WestJet has 13 MAX aircraft in our fleet, which is about 8% of our total fleet of aircraft. WestJet has safely flown more than 1.3 million guests and operated over 9,000 flights on the MAX since 2017.

Through the grounding and even with the slow down through the COVID-19 pandemic, our pilots have maintained currency on the 737-fleet, continuing to safely operate daily 737 departures. Throughout 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.

Now that Transport Canada has validated the required changes, our MAX pilots are undergoing comprehensive and mandatory training and when our MAX aircraft return to service, our pilots will be ready to fly.

While the MAX hasn’t been flying commercially, the aircraft have 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.   

The WestJet Group is unrelenting when it comes to the safety of our fleet. We have flown five different variants of the Boeing 737 since 1996, and the fleet currently operates around 60 safe daily 737 departures.

Find your aircraft type

Look up your flight details in manage trips or check aircraft type using our flight guide.

Flight guide Manage trips



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