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WestJet, Nav Canada glitches have minimal impact at Victoria airport

Technical issues with WestJet Airlines caused minor flight delays at Victoria International Airport on Thursday morning.
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It wasn't immediately clear if the Nav Canada problems had any impact at Victoria airport, although WestJet's check-in services, flight planning, website and operations were temporarily disrupted Thursday morning. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Technical issues with WestJet Airlines caused minor flight delays at Victoria International Airport on Thursday morning.

Both WestJet and air-traffic-control agency Nav Canada experienced system outages, resulting in flight delays and snarls at airports across the country. Travellers took to social media to complain about long lineups and confusion at some airports.

Most flights in and out of Victoria airport remain on schedule, however. It wasn’t immediately clear if the Nav Canada problems had any impact at Victoria airport, although WestJet’s check-in services, flight planning, website and operations were temporarily disrupted Thursday morning.

The company announced shortly before 10 a.m. that check-in operations had been restored.

A WestJet flight was scheduled to arrive in Victoria from Calgary at 7:45 a.m. but was delayed until 11:32 a.m. Another WestJet flight from Victoria to Calgary that had been set to depart at 8:15 a.m. was delayed until 11:55 a.m.

WestJet staff at the Victoria airport have been working to minimize impacts to customers, said Rod Hunchak, airport spokesman and director of business development.

Airline spokeswoman Morgan Bell said Thursday morning that travellers are still being encouraged to arrive early and check their flight status before heading to the airport.

She said the airline was still experiencing issues with its self-serve baggage drop at Calgary, Ottawa, Saskatoon and Halifax airports.

Nav Canada, the not-for-profit corporation responsible for air traffic control in Canadian airspace, said it was experiencing disruptions in western locations due to a service outage with its third-party telecommunications provider, Zayo.

Nav Canada spokesman Brian Boudreau said air traffic control has reduced the flow of departures and arrivals temporarily in some locations as a result.

“Nav Canada is actively engaging Zayo to ensure every effort is being made to restore the service as soon as possible and to understand restoration timelines,” Boudreau said.

The outages Thursday are exacerbating what has already been a frustrating summer for Canadian air travellers.

Airlines and airports have been struggling to cope with a massive travel resurgence in the wake of the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, and staffing issues at carriers and federal agencies have resulted in flight cancellations, baggage delays and endless queues.