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Air Canada Extends Grounding Of Boeing 737 MAX Till Feb. 14, 2020

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Air Canada has extended its grounding of Boeing's 737 MAX-8 aircraft and removed it from its flying schedule until February 14, 2020. The airline had earlier said its fleet of 24 grounded jetliners will not join its schedules until January 8, 2020.

The Canadian flag carrier said the extension is a result of the ongoing regulatory uncertainty about the timing of the aircraft returning to service.

The largest airline of Canada, by fleet size and passengers carried, had removed the two dozen Boeing 737 MAX-8 aircraft from its operating schedule and grounded the fleet since mid-March following Transport Canada's closure of Canadian airspace to Boeing 737 MAX aircraft operations until further notice.

The airline operated about 75 Boeing 737 MAX flights daily out of a total schedule of about 1,600 daily flights system-wide, representing less than six percent of its total flying. The Boeing 737 MAX aircraft transported 9,000 to 12,000 customers each day for Air Canada.

The jets have been grounded globally on safety concerns since mid-March following two deadly crashes of the aircraft within a short span of five months that killed a total of 346 people. The 737 MAX 8 was Boeing's best-selling aircraft.

An Ethiopian Airlines aircraft crashed in the outskirts of Ethiopia's capital city Addis Ababa in March that killed all 157 people on board. It was the 737 Max's second accident in five months, after 189 people were killed on a Lion Air flight in Indonesia in October last year.

On March 13, the FAA had grounded all U.S.-registered Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, including the 8 and 9 variants, as a precautionary measure following crashes. Airlines around the globe also followed suit immediately and grounded their 737 MAX fleets.

All global airlines are awaiting information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), other regulatory authorities and Boeing for lifting the grounding.

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