top of page

WestJet says operations have 'stabilized' following mechanics' strike

Airline expects future cancellations related to job action to be 'minimal'

WestJet says its operations have "stabilized" following a mechanics' strike last weekend that led to hundreds of cancelled flights, affecting thousands of customers.

The Calgary-based airline said in an update Wednesday it now expects "minimal" future cancellations in relation to the job action.

Still, it advised guests with imminent travel plans to check the status of their flight prior to leaving for the airport.

WestJet had to park 72 per cent of its fleet after mechanics announced a surprise strike Saturday. The strike ended Sunday, but the Calgary-based airline had warned Monday that disruptions would continue for several days.

The airline said it had cancelled 1,171 flights across Canada as a result of the strike as of Wednesday, including 79 on Tuesday and 30 on Wednesday. It expects eight flights to be cancelled Thursday.

"WestJet's operations have stabilized, with the airline projecting minimal future cancellations in relation to the labour events impacting July long weekend," the company said in a release Wednesday.

The strike ended late Sunday after an agreement was reached with the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, though the airline warned the impact would be felt for several days.

Calgary band stranded

After being booked on one of the many WestJet flights that were cancelled over the long weekend, members of the Calgary Stetson Show Band — including 82 kids, 16 adults and a plethora of instruments — had to scramble to find another way home in time for a performance Wednesday night at McMahon Stadium.

"We knew the strike had started after the time that we got down to California. We were constantly checking the news and see what's going on," Mike Jewitt, executive director for the Stetsons, told CBC Radio host Judy Aldous.

"At 12 a.m. on June 30 is when we saw online that our flight had actually been cancelled."

Jewitt says that after being on hold for 11 hours, the airline told the group it would be days before everyone would be able to fly home, meaning the band would miss Wednesday night's show and their appearance at Friday's Calgary Stampede parade.

"At that point, we just made the decision to get on a bus and start rolling down the highway."

The band left California early Monday morning, and after multiple different bus rides, they finally made it back home on Wednesday.

This article originally appeared on CBC News

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

3 views0 comments


bottom of page