WestJet Boeing 737 MAX Grounded After “Potential Fault”

A WestJet Boeing 737 MAX was heading out of Calgary yesterday when it returned to its gate after push back due to a potential fault. The aircraft had 35 passengers on board, who then had to transfer to another flight to head to their destination of Toronto.

WestJet 737 MAX
WestJet’s Boeing 737 MAX aircraft have only been back in commercial action since Thursday. Photo: WestJet

Verification was needed

The crew members on the 737 MAX were planning to fly out from Calgary International Airport to travel to Toronto Pearson International Airport. They were ready to perform flight WS658, which had a local departure time of 08:00. However, this service had to be canceled during the push back process.

Simple Flying reached out to WestJet for comment on what occurred in Calgary on January 21st. A WestJet representative confirmed that a potential fault needed to be looked at. Altogether, the airline could not make these checks while customers were on board the plane.

“After a normal engine start, a standard function of the health monitoring system indicated a potential fault that needed to be verified and reset. This process takes time and requires a subsequent engine run, which we do not perform with guests on board,” the spokesperson for the airline told Simple Flying.

“In the interest of our guests’ time, we cancelled flight 658 and its return 665 (Toronto/Calgary) and we rebooked them on the next available flight to ensure a timely arrival in Toronto. The aircraft was cleared by maintenance yesterday morning and will return to service tomorrow Sunday, January 24 as planned.”

Switching flights

All of the passengers that were on board the 737 MAX instead departed for Toronto on WestJet’s Boeing 787 that was planned to perform flight WS662. Ultimately, the carrier apologizes for the inconvenience and appreciates the patience of its customers.

WestJet 787
WestJet’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner service to Toronto left Calgary at 09:53 local time. Photo: WestJet

Back in action

This event occurred just a day after WestJet flew its first commercial flight with the MAX after nearly two years. The Canadian outfit was also only the fifth airline around the world to resume operations with the type. Therefore, there was already plenty of attention on the return of the previously grounded aircraft.

Nonetheless, The WestJet spokesperson emphasizes that yesterday’s flight was canceled only because the airline moved its passengers to the Dreamliner flight instead of having to wait for the maintenance team to clear the initial plane. The company would have operated the flight yesterday. However, the customers were already on their way to their destination.

WestJet 737 MAX 8
In total, WestJet holds 13 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Photo: Getty Images

Altogether, WestJet took the most efficient approach following the initial concerns that were raised. The plane is ready to fly out from Calgary again tomorrow at 08:00. So, the potential issues raised have been addressed by those on the ground at the airport.

What are your thoughts about this WestJet Boeing 737 returning to its gate at Calgary Airport? Were you on board this aircraft yesterday? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.


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