April 18, 2019 / 8:47 PM / 3 months ago

Air Canada pilots reviewing aircraft systems on Boeing's MAX jets

FILE PHOTO - An Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX 8 from San Francisco approaches for landing at Toronto Pearson International Airport over a parked Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

(Reuters) - Air Canada said on Thursday its Boeing Co 737 MAX pilots were reviewing aircraft systems and alternative flight conditions for the grounded planes, and the carrier would decide on further training pending final recommendations from regulators.

On Wednesday, Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau called for pilots to receive simulator training for Boeing’s new 737 MAX software, going beyond a draft report by a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration-appointed board, which recommended additional training without requiring a simulator.

Boeing is working to deliver to global regulators a software update and new training proposals for the MAX following a Lion Air crash in Indonesia in October and an Ethiopian crash in March, which killed 346 people combined.

Boeing said on Wednesday it was making “steady progress” on the path to certifying the software update and had made the final test flight before a certification flight.

Air Canada said it was the only carrier in the United States and Canada with 737 MAX simulators. The country’s largest carrier said it was pleased to see the Canadian government take a “rigorous approach” in how it weighs its requirements for reintroducing the jets into service.

Air Canada’s rival, Westjet Airlines, declined to specifically address Garneau’s comments, but the carrier follows all Transport Canada recommendations, a company spokeswoman said by email.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru and Allison Lampert in Montreal; Editing by Peter Cooney

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