WestJet has issued an apology after a system-wide outage resulted in the airline cancelling more than 200 flights and delaying several others over the weekend.
In a message to customers issued Sunday (Nov. 6), Diederik Pen, WestJet’s chief operating officer, said the “severe disruption” to service, which began Saturday, was due to a cooling issue in its primary data centre.
“We deeply regret this weekend’s extraordinary events that prevented us from delivering the experience our guests deserve,” Pen wrote.
Pen said the issue has been resolved, and that all systems are now online, but warned of further delays and cancellations.
He also conceded WestJet's communication with travellers was lacking during the outage.
“We understand we let our guests down,” Pen wrote, noting the “very high” volumes for its phone, email and social media support channels and long lineups at airports.
The chief operating officer promised a full review of the incident.
Meanwhile, WestJet is asking that anyone with travel plans check the WestJet app or WestJet.com for the most up-to-date information on their flight.
“In an effort to assist guests with imminent travel plans, we are asking all other guests to refrain from contacting us until 72 hours in advance of their flight to ensure we are able to prioritize calls,” Pen said. “Re-accommodation options for all impacted guests will be communicated through email as soon as possible.”
Pen noted that WestJet is unable to assist guests who are coming to airports for re-accommodations.
The glitch comes on the heels of a separate but similar incident at Sunwing, which, just days earlier, grappled with flight disruptions after its third-party software provider, a Boeing-owned company called Jeppesen, was hit by a cyber attack.
The incident caused delays with both northbound and southbound Sunwing flights early last week.
The tour operator announced Thursday that its operations are normalizing, but warned of further delays.