(Air Canada Boeing MAX 737/skiesmag.com)

Air Canada has grounded all flights aboard Boeing 737 MAX planes until January 2020, according to an announcement made by the airline on Friday.

The aircraft grounding comes after two 737 aircrafts crashed within months of each other, including an Ethiopian Airlines flight which claimed the lives of 157 people, including 18 Canadian citizens, one of whom was from Vancouver Island.

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Soon after the crash, Air Canada originally grounded 737 Max planes until July 1st, 2019. However, after recommendations from Transport Canada, the airline has extended this measure until January 8th, 2020.

With the grounding extended until next year, Air Canada has promised to waive fees for affected customers and to rebook passengers as soon as possible. However, the airline is advising customers of probable delays.

“Given the magnitude of our 737 MAX operations which on average carry nine to twelve thousand customers per day, customers can expect delays in rebooking and in reaching Air Canada Call Centres,” said the airline in a statement.

Customers who may be affected by the grounding can expect to receive an email from Air Canada detailing their updated itinerary.

Meanwhile, anyone who has purchased a ticket aboard a Boeing 737 MAX Air Canada flight can change their itinerary within three weeks of their original travel dates.

“We appreciate our customers’ patience as we work to get everyone on their way,” said Air Canada.

Further details on changes to Air Canada’s flight schedule can be found online here.

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