News

Back-to-back flight delays an 'extraordinary coincidence'

Two airlines left several customers waiting for their flights due to delays here last week.

On August 13, an Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Terrace set to take off from the Lower Mainland at 8:30 a.m. didn't leave until 12:01 p.m.

"Unfortunately we experienced an issue in that the crew assigned to that particular flight were detained through circumstances beyond their control," said Air Canada Jazz manager corporate communications Debra Williams.

"Despite best efforts to reorganize and accommodate with an alternate crew, we were unable to do so."

She added that Air Canada strives to be on-time, efficient and safe and apologized to customers delayed that day.

Air Canada operates approximately 750 flights in North America every day, she said.

A Westjet flight due to take off from Terrace for Vancouver at 2:15 p.m. Aug. 13 was delayed to 10 p.m. due to a maintenance issue.

"We have dispatched mechanics along with parts to effect repairs and we expect the aircraft to depart at 10 p.m. local time," said Westjet manager of public relations Robert Palmer that day.

Reports from passengers indicate the plane took off at 11:30 p.m. that night.

Then on Aug. 14, a Westjet flight due to arrive from Vancouver at 1:29 p.m. was delayed until 6:55 p.m.

"It's a different aircraft but like the one yesterday, it's also unscheduled maintenance," said Palmer.

"Extraordinary coincidence that two aircraft would experience mechanical issues in the same city two days in a row."

He added that whether Westjet has spare aircraft to cover for a delayed flight depends on the day.

The Westjet fleet of planes is very young and the Q400s used here in Terrace are one-year-old or less, he said.

"But, when you fly an aircraft as many hours as airlines do, 10-12 hours per day, unfortunately unscheduled maintenance may at some point happen," said Palmer.

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