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Air Canada Cancels Halifax, Newfoundland Flights To U.K. After 737 Ban

An Air Canada Boeing 737 Max aircraft. Image: Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press.

HALIFAX – At least two Atlantic Canada flights to England aboard Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft were cancelled Tuesday amid the continuing fallout from Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines crash.

Air Canada cancelled London−bound flights from Halifax and St. John’s after the United Kingdom banned all Boeing Max 8 jets in its airspace.

Sunday’s disaster was the second crash involving the jet in less than five months.

Air Canada said Tuesday it was working to rebook passengers through its Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto hubs.

At Halifax Stanfield International Airport on Tuesday afternoon, passengers arriving on an Air Canada flight from London — which took off before the British ban — gave mixed reactions about being on the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.

Angela Taylor, whose daughter was flying for the first time alone on the plane Tuesday, said she felt the Max 8 aircrafts should be grounded in Canada.

“I was a bit perturbed Air Canada hadn’t suspended flights when Australia is not even letting any in or out,” said Taylor, saying she was concerned when she learned her 22−year−old daughter would be flying on that plane.

“You might be on the bandwagon, but for safety? Come on.”

After her arrival, Taylor’s daughter Bryony said she wasn’t aware at the time that she was on Boeing’s 737 Max 8, and may not have boarded if she had known.

“I’m a nervous flyer anyway, so that would have put me over the edge,” said Bryony Taylor, who had been away for three months.

But Patricia Little, who was on the same flight as Taylor, said flying on the Max 8 didn’t worry her in the least.

“I think it’s a whole lot of hype. I think there’s hundreds of thousands of planes that go, only one or two of them crash,” said Little of Saint John.

“Get a grip. You could die walking out there to your car.”

Several other countries have taken the same step as Britain, including France, Germany and Australia − but Transport Minister Marc Garneau insisted Tuesday such a ban in Canada is premature until investigators have more information on the cause of Sunday’s crash that killed 157 people.

He added, though, that “all options are on the table.”

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By Aly Thomson, The Canadian Press