WestJet cancels all Friday flights at Pearson airport due to storm

The massive snow storm is forcing WestJet to cancel flights for today, while the TTC and GO have several service changes in effect.

By John Marchesan

The incoming winter storm hitting the GTA is already having an impact on flights at Toronto Pearson airport, which was bracing itself for its busiest travel time of the year.

WestJet says it has proactively cancelled all flights arriving and departing Toronto Pearson Airport as of 9 a.m. Friday until the end of day. The airline says it hopes to restart operations by Saturday “dependent on weather conditions.”

The proactive cancellations will impact 140 flights across five airports – Ottawa International Airport (YOW), London International Airport (YXU), the Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF), and Montreal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport (YUL), the airline said.

The airline says all impacted travellers have been notified.

Diederik Pen, WestJet’s chief operations officer, said in a statement the decision to cancel flights is extremely difficult but necessary in order to fly safely with as little disruption as possible when the weather improves.

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


Air Canada tells CityNews it has cancelled a number of domestic flights Friday due to weather and operational constraints but says it plans to go ahead with scheduled international flights.

“At present, we plan to operate flights to Hawaii, Mexico, Korea, and Japan, as well as a couple vacation destinations in the US, and our Pacific flights late evening,” the airline said in a statement.

Pearson Airport officials say 40 per cent of incoming and outgoing flights have been cancelled on Friday.

Officials have advised travellers to check with their airline before leaving for the airport.

“It is critical during the holidays that our partners continue to make every effort to address staffing provisions and crew allocations to deal with ongoing weather disruptions,” reads a statement from the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA). “All travellers to Pearson should check their flights status and follow air carrier advice.”

Both Air Canada and WestJet are still recovering from hundreds of cancelled flights due to winter storm conditions on the West Coast.

Files from The Canadian Press were used in this report

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