Why Swoop, an Airline With No 737 MAXes, Is Cancelling Flights Because of the MAX Grounding

Aug 9, 2019

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Canadian low-cost carrier Swoop has delayed its new San Diego flights until 2020, citing the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX  -– an aircraft it doesn’t fly.

Swoop had been scheduled to begin service to San Diego (SAN) from both Abbotsford (YXX) in British Columbia and Edmonton (YEG) in Alberta with its Boeing 737-800s on Oct 4. The airline first announced the plans in early July.

However, those flights were quietly pulled from Swoop’s schedules and San Diego removed from its route map recently, a fact spotted by a TPG reader.

A spokeswoman for Swoop confirmed that “due to the industry-wide Boeing 737 MAX groundings and subsequent aircraft inventory shortages, Swoop has cancelled two routes to San Diego.”

Swoop now plans to launch the San Diego routes in the summer of 2020, she added.

Related: Canadian Budget Airline Swoop Adds San Diego to Route Map

Why is an airline that has no plans to fly the MAX cancelling routes because of the grounding? Swoop is owned by WestJet, which had 13 737 MAX 8s in its fleet when the aircraft was grounded in March.

Swoop was operating eight 737-800s transferred from WestJet at the end of June, a second quarter financial filing shows. However, previous plans to grow the fleet to 10 aircraft by the end of 2019 appear to be on hold as WestJet works to mitigate cancellations related to the MAX grounding.

Boeing currently anticipates recertification of the 737 MAX early in the fourth quarter of this year. However, multiple carriers, including Air Canada and Southwest Airlines, have removed the MAX from schedules through early January because of the work and training needed to re-introduce the aircraft.

Featured image courtesy of Swoop.

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