Sun. Mar 3rd, 2024

More than 460 flights canceled at WestJet due to extreme cold in the West

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Due to the extreme cold, even aircraft de-icing fluid has become ineffective.

Radio-Canada

Calgarian airline WestJet had to cancel more than 460 flights due to consecutive days extreme cold in Western Canada.

Freezing temperatures continue to challenge crews and create aggravating impacts.

WestJet says several days of freezing temperatures in the Prairies and more broadly in Western Canada are having a worsening impact on its operations.

The airline says on its website that it has been forced to cancel at least 464 flights since Thursday, including 120 flights on Sunday alone.

Monday morning, Edmonton International Airport reported around ten delayed flights from several companies, as well as canceled flights at West Jet and Air Canada.

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Extreme cold has made de-icing fluid ineffective in certain cities in Western Canada for the second morning in a row, says Madison Kruger, public relations strategist at WestJet.

Our teams are working overtime, our equipment is in the cold, she said. These flights are all interconnected. It's an interconnected network.

So when you are at day four and you're never able to fully restore your first day operations, the consequences keep getting worse.

A quote from Madison Kruger, Public Relations, WestJet

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Hundreds of flights have been delayed or canceled, to the great dismay of passengers.

WestJet has successfully recovered several planes stuck due to weather conditions, putting [the airline] in a better position.

Madison Kruger also claims that the airline imposes rest periods on crews to ensure the safety of employees working in the freezing cold.

WestJet is also announcing flexible flight change and cancellation guidelines for customers traveling to or from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Due to delays and cancellations, the airline's customer service is experiencing high wait times.

Clients are obviously looking for temporary housing, says Madison Kruger. We do not have the immediate ability to rebook them on a flight that is likely within their time slot.

The airline is asking its customers not to contact it less than 72 hours before the scheduled departure of their flight.

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Air Canada was also impacted by the extreme cold in the west of the country.

Air Canada, for its part, said it has implemented a flexible rebooking policy so its customers can change their travel plans without having to pay additional fees.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The Calgary Airport Authority advises passengers to check the status of their flights before heading to the airport and to give themselves more time to adapt to changing circumstances and delays on the roads and at the airport.

With information by Tim Devlin

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