WestJet cancels flights out of B.C., and Ontario due to winter storms

WestJet says it is cancelling flights out of B.C. and Ontario due to winter storms ahead of the busy holiday weekend.

In a statement on Thursday night, the airline said the cancellations will affect 126 flights at five airports in B.C. and 140 flights at five airports in Ontario and Quebec.

WestJet said it made the decision because of “prolonged and extreme weather events” across Canada. 

“We sincerely apologize for the continued disruption many have or will experience and appreciate your continued patience and understanding,” Diederik Pen, WestJet’s chief operations officer, said in the statement.

“Our teams on the ground, in the air and behind the scenes are working tirelessly to recover our operations, while trying to limit further disruption to important holiday travel plans.”

In B.C, WestJet said it has cancelled all flights arriving and departing from Vancouver International Airport starting at 11:50 p.m. PST on Thursday until Friday late afternoon, depending on weather conditions. Flights have also also been cancelled at at Abbotsford International Airport, Victoria International Airport, Nanaimo Airport and Comox Airport.

A second significant winter storm system is forecast to sweep Vancouver and the Southern B.C. region on Thursday evening.

In Ontario, WestJet said it has cancelled all flights arriving and departing from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport on Friday, starting at 9 a.m. ET on Friday until the end of the day. The airline said a “restart” depends on weather conditions by Saturday. 

A major winter storm is forecast to hit much of Ontario on Friday and Saturday.

The service suspension will affect other Ontario and Quebec airports as well, including Ottawa International Airport, London International Airport, the Region of Waterloo International Airport and Montreal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport.

The airline said the decision to cancel was made after it consulted airport authorities and NAV Canada. All travellers have been notified, it said.

“The prolonged and extreme weather events that continue to impact multiple regions across Canada are unlike anything we’ve experienced,” Pen said.

“The decision to stand down more flights is extremely difficult, but it is necessary, so that we can be best prepared to safely fly as many guests, with as little disruption as possible when the weather improves.”

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