The Victoria International Airport is no stranger to the Boeing 737-8 MAX aircraft.
The model is under scrutiny after a tragic crash with Ethiopian Airlines on Sunday.
Six minutes after departure from Bole Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the pilot sent out a distress call before contact was lost. The crash resulted in the death of 157 people, including 18 Canadians.
The crash is eerily similar to an October crash near Indonesia, where a Boeing 787-8 MAX plunged into the Java Sea a few minutes after taking off from Jakarta, killing 189 people.
The Victoria International Airport confirmed that in the past, Boeing 737-8 MAX planes have serviced the airport, both from WestJet and Sunwing.
WestJet was unable to confirm if current schedules will see the MAX service YYJ, but that flights with the model will continue throughout Canada.
“WestJet sends heartfelt condolences to those friends and family whose loved ones were on board Ethiopian Airlines flight 302. We are monitoring the situation closely and will not speculate on the cause of the incident,” said WestJet spokesperson Morgan Bell in an emailed statement.
“WestJet remains confident in the safety of our Boeing 737 fleet including our 13 MAX-8 aircraft first introduced in 2017. We have flown five different variants of the Boeing 737 since 1996, and the fleet currently operates around 450 safe daily B737 departures.”
Bell said that 13 MAX air crafts are in its fleet of 121 Boeing 737’s.
Live flight updates show that there were no 737-8 MAX planes heading for Victoria on Monday, but that two were scheduled for Vancouver.
Air Canada issued a statement saying that no MAX model planes service Victoria, but that it will continue to use all 24 MAX models in its fleet.
“We have extensive analytical data supporting the safety of these aircraft[s], which have also performed excellently from reliability and customer satisfaction perspective,” said Air Canada Spokesperson Angela Mah. “We are confident in the safety of our operations and fleet, which are approved by government safety regulators including Transport Canada and the FAA. Air Canada follows and implements recommendations and advisories from manufacturers and governmental safety regulators.”
Sunwing did not respond for comment by the time of print.
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