Air Canada passengers heading from Montreal to Barcelona and Paris might be surprised by the Middle Eastern hospitality that awaits them onboard the A330-200s that will take them to Europe. Air Canada has arranged wet leases with Qatar Airlines to operate those flights starting June 15 as part of the complex fallout of the grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The flights will be operated by Qatar Airways crews in their aircraft. Lufthansa will take over flights to Germany from Montreal and Omni Air International will maintain service between Vancouver and Honolulu. There will be other equipment changes and frequency adjustments on other routes but some flights will have to be cancelled.
Flights to Heathrow from Halifax and St. John’s are suspended until the end of July and seasonal flights from Toronto to Shannon, Toronto to abbotsford and Calgary to London, Ontario won’t be operated this season. It adds up to Air Canada cobbling together the aircraft and crews to maintain 96 percent of its schedule. The airline lost 24 aircraft to the grounding immediately but was supposed to have an additional 12 MAXes delivered in time for the busy summer season.