Air Canada suspends financial forecasts for 2019 after 737 MAX groundings

  • Air Canada became the first major airline on Friday to suspend its previously stated financial forecasts for 2019, after the grounding of Boeing Co's 737 MAX planes on safety concerns.
  • forecasts for 2019, after the grounding of Boeing Co's 737 MAX planes on safety concerns.
  • Canada grounded the planes on Wednesday after an Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed all people on board. Later, Boeing suspended MAX deliveries to airlines.
File Shots of Air Canada plane on tarmac at Pearson Airport. Toronto
Rene Johnston | Toronto Star | Getty Images
File Shots of Air Canada plane on tarmac at Pearson Airport. Toronto

Canada's biggest carrier Air Canada became the first major airline on Friday to suspend its previously stated financial forecasts for 2019, after the grounding of Boeing's 737 MAX planes on safety concerns.

Canada grounded the planes on Wednesday after an Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed all people on board. Later, Boeing suspended MAX deliveries to airlines.

The planemaker's suspension of deliveries came as Air Canada, with 24 MAX jets, had expected to take more than a dozen of the fuel-efficient jets this year as part of a plan to replace its aging Airbus narrowbodies.

Compared with its existing Airbus A320s, the airline had estimated that the MAX 8 aircraft would deliver 11 percent lower cost per available seat mile (CASM), a closely-watched industry metric, driven by savings on fuel and maintenance costs.

Air Canada was expecting full-year 2019 adjusted cost per available seat mile (CASM), a key industry metric, to increase between 2 percent and 3 percent compared with 2018.

It had projected annual core profit margin of between 19 percent and 22 percent from 2019 until 2021. However, the Montreal-based company said its forecast for 2020 and 2021 for annual profit margin remained in place.

Rival WestJet Airlines Ltd operates 13 MAX jets. The carrier was not immediately available for a comment.