Saturday,  September 30, 2023  9:41 pm

Air Canada system functioning normally, but delays are still expected

Air Canada system functioning normally, but delays are still expected
(Air Canada)
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

The technical issue at Air Canada that led to widespread flight delays and cancellations on Thursday (June 1) has been resolved, the airline says.

“Air Canada has stabilized its communicator system and it is functioning normally,” the carrier told PAX in an update early Friday morning (June 2).

However, Canada’s largest carrier says some flights may still be delayed today as it repositions aircraft and crew.

Customers therefore are being advised to check the status of their flight before going to the airport.

At the same time, Air Canada says its flexible travel policy remains in effect for customers to change their travel plans at no charge.

“We apologize for any inconvenience to customers, and we are working very hard to return our schedule to normal,” the airline said. “We also thank our customers for their understanding.”

Déjà vu

For the second time in a week, Air Canada has faced yet another IT problem that has disrupted flight schedules across the country.

Yesterday’s issue reportedly had to do with the system Air Canada uses to communicate with aircraft — the same system impacted by an outage one week ago — but was “unrelated” to last week, Air Canada told the Toronto Star.

A total of 292 Air Canada flights, or 55 per cent of the airline's scheduled load, was delayed Thursday as of just before 6 p.m. EST, along with 38 cancellations, according to

Air Canada posted an update to Twitter Friday morning (June 2). (Twitter/@AirCanada)

Air Canada Rouge also saw 79 delays, or 52 per cent of its flights, as well as 22 cancellations

The airline, previously, said it was in the process of upgrading its system using third-party technology.

“Air Canada will continue to work with the manufacturer to ensure stability in the system in the future,” the airline said in a statement.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said that passengers affected by Air Canada’s tech glitch are protected under existing Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR) because the issue was caused by factors within the airline's control.

He said his office had been in touch with Air Canada and was assured the company was aware of “the consequences of these delays.”

“My understanding is that they're working on restoring (the system) as quickly as possible, but I also wanted to make sure that they understood their obligations toward their passengers and they make sure that they compensate those who are impacted,” Alghabra said.

Tech breakdown

Technical problems have impacted other airlines in recent months. Southwest Airlines Co. in April blamed a one-hour stoppage of its flights on a vendor-supplied computer network firewall.

Earlier this month, British Airways cancelled dozens of flights ahead of a busy holiday weekend due to a tech-related problem.

And Air Canada wasn't alone in its troubles yesterday. U.S.-based Spirit Airlines, too, announced that it was dealing with technical issues impacting their website, app and airport kiosks, which delayed roughly 50 per cent of its flights that day. 

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