Air Canada Grapples with Massive Flight Delays After Technical Glitch, Recovery in Progress

Air Canada Grapples with Massive Flight Delays After Technical Glitch, Recovery in Progress

The Western Connect Magazine - Air Canada Recovery in Progress
Airline passengers face frustration as Air Canada struggles to overcome IT issue fallout.

TWCAir Canada passengers faced widespread frustration on Friday as the airline grappled with significant flight delays following a major technical malfunction the previous day. Over one-quarter of Air Canada flights, they experienced disruptions as the carrier struggled to restore normal operations.

Anticipating ongoing challenges, Air Canada warned travelers early on Friday morning, cautioning them to expect further flight disruptions. While the airline’s IT system had stabilized, flights at nine of Canada’s busiest airports, including Toronto’s Pearson, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary, were still vulnerable to potential disruptions.

The IT outage on Thursday caused over 500 flights, accounting for more than three-quarters of Air Canada’s daily trips, to be delayed or canceled, resulting in significant rollover effects leading up to the weekend.

As of approximately 4:30 p.m. EDT on Friday, 144 Air Canada flights, comprising 27 percent of the airline’s scheduled load, were delayed, along with 33 cancellations, as reported by tracking service Additionally, Air Canada Rouge experienced delays in 56 flights, accounting for one-third of its daily load, and 23 cancellations.

Air Canada stated via email, “Air Canada has stabilized its communicator system, and it is functioning normally. However, due to the effects of Thursday’s IT issues on our schedule, some flights may be delayed this morning as we reposition aircraft and crew.” The airline urged customers to check their flight status before heading to the airport. It reassured them that the flexible travel policy remained in effect, allowing customers to change their travel plans at no additional charge.

The airline needed to provide a specific timeline for when it expected its flight schedule to fully return to normal, leaving passengers uncertain and frustrated.

The technical disruption on Thursday was attributed to the communication system used by Air Canada to interface with aircraft and monitor their performance. It occurred just one week after the airline experienced a separate issue with the same design, leading to a one-hour grounding of Air Canada planes. On that day, FlightAware reported that 241 Air Canada flights, representing 46 percent of the airline’s trips, were delayed, with an additional 19 flights canceled.

Air Canada now faces the challenge of rectifying the fallout from these IT issues and regaining the trust of its passengers, who have been subjected to significant travel disruptions. The airline focuses on resolving technical glitches promptly and implementing measures to prevent such incidents from recurring.

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