Welcome to spring in foggy Toronto - flight cancellations and delays today
I was outside last night in my backyard in shorts and a t-shirt at 7:30 p.m. When I woke up this morning, though, it was like pea soup. With so much heavy fog in southern Ontario today, it felt like a bad London movie where the bad guys emerge from the mist or something.
It's fine for most of us, but it's a real mess at the airports. Porter's website advises folks there are weather warnings for not only Toronto but also Windsor, Ottawa, Sudbury, Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie and even up in Thunder Bay.
I spotted at least two Porter flights from Toronto to Ottawa that were cancelled this morning, as well as three cancelled flights from Montreal to the Island Airport. And the fog down here at the foot of Yonge St. doesn't look all that much better than it did an hour ago.
"There are currently a number of cancellations and delays due to fog," Porter spokesman Brad Cicero said in an email around 9 a.m. "Passengers should monitor their flight status before arriving at the airport. The situation is evolving based on changing weather conditions. No arrivals/departures currently at Toronto City."
It appeared that a couple Air Canada flights from Pearson to Montreal were delayed today, but service appears to be pretty good considering the conditions. Then again, Pearson is pretty far from Lake Ontario.
It looked like things finally cleared up around 11 a.m., which is good. I'm sure the folks at the Island Airport were glad to get things cleared up, but no doubt it was a bit of a mess this morning.
All in all, not a great week for travel. The Air Canada pilots are back at work after a weekend where it appeared a significant number of them booked off work. That was good news Monday. But then we found out that Aveos, the company that does Air Canada's maintenance here in Canada, has issued layoff notices to its staff and it appears Air Canada is scrambling to find folks to repair their planes.
Air Canada officials on Monday afternoon insisted they had contingency plans and that all was pretty much normal. But lawyers for the company said flights could be cancelled and 3,000 passengers affected every day if Aveos doesn’t complete repairs on several planes.
Aveos Fleet Performance Inc. got creditor protection from a Quebec superior court Monday, after laying off 1,800 workers and suddenly halting operations at their three main plants in Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver, as well as other facilities, including one in Mississauga.
Three widebody planes and several narrowbody planes remain stranded in Aveos hangars across the country.
Despite the airline’s earlier claims that day-to-day operations would not be affected by the shutdown, Air Canada lawyer Louis Belanger said in court that the next 24 to 48 hours will be crucial in determining if the aircraft repairs can be completed on schedule.
So who's right? I suspect the lawyers know what they're talking about, and their comments came later in the day. But it's still obviously a situation in flux, so we should all be prepared for delays. I have a flight on Saturday morning, so we'll see how that goes.
Anyway, it's been quite the week already. I mean, pilot book-offs. Maintenance issues. Fog. All we need is a plague of locusts to descend on Air Canada's headquarters in Montreal and it'll be a perfect storm.
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