Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes are parked near Boeing Co.’s 737 assembly facility in Renton, Wash. on Nov. 14, 2018. In the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines tragedy, Canada’s two largest airlines say they are confident in the safety of the Boeing aircraft that makes up part of their fleets. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ted S. Warren Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes are parked near Boeing Co.’s 737 assembly facility in Renton, Wash. on Nov. 14, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ted S. Warren

Minimal impacts at YQQ following Canadian Boeing 737 Max8 grounding

Following the Wednesday morning announcement that Canada has grounded all Boeing 737 Max 8, the impact at the Comox Valley Airport is minimal.

Transportation Minister Marc Garneau on Wednesday morning issued a safety notice, banning domestic or foreign Max 8s from taking off, landing or flying through Canadian airspace.

Eighteen Canadians were among the 157 killed in Sunday’s plane crash in Addis Ababa, prompting more than 30 countries to ground the plane model until an investigation is conducted.

WestJet flight 491 scheduled to arrive from Calgary at 10:55 a.m. to Comox is delayed by about an hour, with a scheduled arrival time of 11:40 a.m.

According to flight tracking data company FlightAware, the plane scheduled for the route was to be a Boeing 737 Max 8. The airline has since changed the plane to a Boeing 737-600.

“We respect the decision made Transport Canada and are in the process of grounding the 13 MAX aircraft in our fleet,” wrote WestJet in a press release this morning. “The decision has an impact on the travel plans of our WestJet guests and we ask for understanding as weak work to rebook all guests affected as quickly as possible.”

WestJet noted they have 162 aircraft or more than 92 per cent of their overall fleet that remains in service.

As of 9:22 a.m. PST, the airline had four Boeing 737 Max aircraft operating flights within North America. They confirmed all MAX 8s have safely landed at their scheduled destinations.

The company is contacting impacted guests to arrange for alternate travel plans.

Flights from Comox to Vancouver via Air Canada Jazz operate with a de Havilland Dash 8-300 and those operated by Pacific Coastal Airlines operate with a Beechcraft 1900.

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