West Jet 737

A WestJet 737 (source: WestJet)

WestJet’s grounded 737 Max aircrafts will soon be flying across the country headed for warmer weather, the Western Standard has learned.

The airline has a fleet of 13 of the grounded planes and they will soon be jetting off for warmer weather storage in B.C.

The WS has learned a number of planes will be stored in Abbotsford.

“Due to Alberta’s harsh winter conditions, we are in the process of repositioning these aircraft, with permission from Transportation Canada, to various maintenance facilities and airports across western Canada,” said WestJet spokeswoman Morgan Bell on Monday.

Bell said the grounded planes are regularly maintained and the engines fired up every 10 days at their current locations.

Bell said the 737s are being moved to airports to “continue our maintenance requirement on the Max during the airspace closure.”

Morgan said since the planes were grounded the have been stored at various location across the country including Calgary, Kelowna, Abbotsford, Vancouver and Hamilton.

The planes were grounded around the world earlier this year after two crashes killed 346 people.

Boeing, the aircraft’s manufacturer has said they are making changes to the Max’s software after the deadly crashes.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Authority grounded the Max in March and Canada soon followed.

Meanwhile, the airliner is likely to return to service in Europe during the first quarter of 2020, the head of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said on Monday, according to a Reuters report.

While the European regulator expects to give its approval in January, preparations by national authorities and airlines may delay the resumption of commercial flights by up to another two months, EASA executive director Patrick Ky indicated.

News Editor & Calgary Bureau Chief

Dave Naylor is News Editor & Calgary Bureau Chief of the Western Standard based in the Calgary Headquarters. He served as City Editor of the Calgary Sun & covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years.

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