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Aptitude Airways unveils its first Boeing 737 MAX

The newest addition to Aptitude Airline’s fleet was unveiled on Thursday, with the Alberta-based provider flying its first-ever passenger flight with a Boeing 737 MAX.

The flight took off from Edmonton after a low-altitude flyby and water cannon salute to mark the event.

The plane is simply the primary of 13 MAXs on order for Aptitude, with a second already delivered and the remainder anticipated by the tip of 2021.

“It’s a really thrilling milestone for the corporate in the present day,” mentioned Aptitude Airways CEO Stephen Jones. “That is the platform with which we’re going to construct a real impartial extremely low-cost provider.”

Learn extra:
Edmonton-based Aptitude Airways provides 13 Boeing 737 Max planes to fleet

The fleet enlargement comes simply months after the airline almost doubled its route community by including eight new locations together with Ottawa, Halifax and Victoria.

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Jones mentioned it’s Aptitude’s time to start out taking a bigger share of Canada’s journey market.

“We consider that fares in Canada have been too excessive for too lengthy,” mentioned Jones. “So we wish liberate Canadians to journey extra and truly stimulate the demand.”

Airline business analyst Rick Erickson mentioned the speedy development is sensible with journey beginning to construct again as much as pre-pandemic ranges.

“There are gates open and there are terminal amenities accessible to get your airplanes in,” mentioned Erickson. “If we don’t have some reset with the pandemic, I believe there’s a chance right here that we’ve not seen earlier than.”

Passenger expertise

Erickson, who has flown on the MAX with a unique airline, says the brand new narrow-body providing from Boeing is a step up from earlier 737 fashions.

“It’s quiet and really highly effective with greater home windows. There’s extra plastic when it comes to the airplane (building) so the humidity ranges inside had been increased,” mentioned Erickson. “I assumed the entire thing was fairly snug.”

Learn extra:
three Canadian 737 MAX jets grounded after Boeing warns of potential electrical situation

However as with something on the decrease finish of the worth vary, there are some compromises.

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Aptitude has ordered a higher-density model of the MAX, with about 15 extra seats than WestJet and Air Canada. Erikson warns travellers to completely perceive what they’re paying for and what they’re not.

“In case you’re going to go ultra-low price, be sure to learn the nice print with a really shut eye,” mentioned Erickson. “The whole lot you need when it comes to consolation, comfort or flexibility, you’ll pay further for.”

MAX confidence

The Boeing 737 MAX was grounded worldwide for almost two years following two lethal crashes.

Transport Canada lifted its grounding order for the plane in January after approving design adjustments to the aircraft and requiring pilots to endure extra coaching.

Learn extra:
Canada OKs troubled Boeing 737 MAX eight jets to renew service this week

However since then, an unrelated situation pressured greater than 100 MAX plane to endure obligatory upkeep.

The brand new drawback concerned grounding – or connections designed to keep up security within the occasion of a surge of voltage – inside a backup energy management system.

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Darren Hulst, Boeing’s vp of company advertising and marketing, mentioned that situation might have prompted some slight delays however there’s no ongoing concern.

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“These airplanes have now been delivered and we proceed to work with Aptitude for continued deliveries within the close to future,” mentioned Hulst.

Erickson mentioned he sees zero situation with the protection of the MAX.

“There have been some points with the airplane and I consider these all have been resolved,” mentioned Erickson. “I’ve no issues of safety by any means with the plane and I don’t assume actually anyone else in Canada ought to.”

A minimum of one different MAX has been delivered to Calgary with many of the remaining orders anticipated to reach by the tip of 2021.

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