Train Derailment Cause of WestJet Outage; Over 100 Flights Affected 14JUL

WestJet's 787 Dreamliner

WestJet service is returning to normal Friday 15JUL after an apparent train derailment in Alberta knocked out telecommunications services used by the airline.

As OpenJaw reported 14JUL, WestJet’s operations including  airport check-in, flight planning and payment services on were interrupted.

While the service issues were originally thought to have been limited to mostly YYC and Western Canada, the airline confirmed in a statement on its web site Thursday that there were problems nationwide.  GlobalNews reported long lineups for WestJet pax at YYZ as issues spilled over into the airline’s entire network.

Even after WestJet check-in and gate services nationwide were restored, the company revealed that “self-serve baggage drop continues to experience issues at Calgary (YYC), Ottawa (YOW), Saskatoon (YXE) and Halifax (YHZ).”

Later Thursday, WestJet confirmed reports that the source of the problem was NavCanada’s telecommunications provider Zayo. “We are working with all external parties to fully resolve and can confirm we are also impacted by the Zayo outage," said WestJet's online statement. "Across our network we have seen three cancellations and more than 100 flights have been delayed  as a result of the outage.”

According to CBC, a train derailment in Alberta Wednesday impacted two of Zayo’s “key fibre lines.”

A statement released by Zayo on Thursday said, "We have rerouted a significant volume of traffic via other routes so that our customers can begin resuming normal operations. We regret the inconvenience this has caused for our customers and air passengers, and our top priority is the safety of everyone involved."

NavCanada confirmed later Thursday afternoon that its affected services were returning.

The most recent WestJet statement on its web site is from Thursday afternoon, and says, “We continue to thank all guests for their patience and will reaccommodate all impacted guests on the first available flight to ensure they get to their destination as soon as possible.”

Lynn Elmhirst


With a background in broadcast news and travel lifestyles TV production, Lynn is just as comfortable behind or in front of the camera as she is slinging words into compelling stories at her laptop. Having been called a multi-media ‘content charmer’, Lynn’s other claim to fame is the ability to work 24/7, forgoing sleep until the job is done. Documented proof exists in a picture of Lynn at the closing celebrations of an intense week, standing, champagne in hand - sound asleep. That’s our kind of gal.

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