With summer quickly approaching, many Canadians will be booking their travel plans. This is also the busiest time of the season for the country's largest airlines such as Air Canada and West Jet. With the Boeing Max 8 still being grounded, major airlines have been forced to shift their operations in attempts to have enough planes available for their busy season. One expert is warning Canadians to book early because airplane fares could rise throughout the summer due to the grounding of the Boeing Max 8.
Back in March, all Canadian airlines officially banned all Boeing 737 Max 8 planes after a crash in Ethiopia that killed 158 people, including 18 Canadians. Another deadly crash occurred back in October 2018 with the same plane model. Both planes went down just minutes after takeoff due software bug.
Since March, the planes have been grounded worldwide as airlines await an update in the software that runs the Boeing 737 Max 8 planes. Yesterday, USA Today stated that Boeing finally announced they have completed a software fix on the 737 Max 8. However, this does not mean that the planes will be in the air anytime soon.
The software update focuses on a fix to the system that is counteracting the bug that allowed the planes to nosedive minutes after take off. Boeing has also redesigned the software to make it easier for pilots to shut off the system. Yet, this is just the first step for getting these planes back in the air.
These new changes still need approval from the FAA. USA Today states that it could still be months before these planes are even considered to be back in the air again. This means, that it is a high possibility that all Boeing Max 8 airplanes will still be grounded throughout the busy summer months.
CBC states that as summer as approaching, the lack of Boeing aircraft may limit the seating capacity for Canadian travelers, this, in turn, will hike up the prices of those summer plane tickets.
Aviation Analyst Rick Erickson told CBC that those who are traveling should book their plane tickets for your summer vacation as early as possible to avoid limited seating and price increases. He states that "If travel demands are strong, fares could see a little upward bounce."
When Boeing Max 8 jetliners were in the air, Air Canada had 24 of them that carried 9,000 to 12,000 passengers per day. Since grounding their planes, Air Canada has been attempting to adjust route times and flying fewer flights between destinations. However, despite their effort, they have seen a shortfall in their seat capacity.
However, despite the worry from aviation analysts, Air Canada assured CBC that "customers can book their travel on Air Canada with full confidence."