Air Canada, WestJet push back return of Boeing 737 Max until early spring

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TORONTO — Canada’s two biggest airlines are dropping the grounded Boeing 737 Max from their flight schedules for at least the next two months.

The move could impact passengers already slated for spring getaways and cut down on flight options for travellers looking to book.

Air Canada tells The Canadian Press it recently opted to push back the return of the Boeing jet until April. WestJet says it has pulled its 13 Max planes from the schedule until March 4.

The federal government banned the 737 Max from the skies last March, following two fatal crashes in five months.

The airlines’ decision marks the latest in a series of delays that have reduced revenue and capacity and bumped up costs for the carriers, which have had to spend more on leases for aircraft that are less fuel-efficient.

Southwest Airlines and American Airlines have scrubbed the once heavily coveted plane from their schedules until early-to-mid April, while United Airlines has put off its return until early June.

Companies in this story: (TSX:AC, TSX:WJA)