Outages at WestJet, NAV Canada cause delays at Canadian airports

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MONTREAL/OTTAWA (Reuters) – WestJet Airlines said on Thursday it had restored check-in and gate services caused earlier in the day by system outages that led to long lines at some airports in Canada.

The country’s largest airports are wrestling with delays and lost luggage as staff struggle to keep up with an unexpectedly strong rebound in air travel after a pandemic-induced slump.

Calgary-based WestJet said in a statement it was still experiencing problems with self-serve baggage drop services at four airports in the country, including Ottawa.

Passengers flying the privately held airline took to social media to post images and accounts of hours-long lines at airports due to the outage, such as at Canada’s busiest, Toronto Pearson International Airport.

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which operates Toronto’s Pearson, cited long line-ups at one of its terminals in relation to the issue with WestJet.

Canada’s Calgary International Airport said earlier on Thursday that travelers flying may experience delays due to the system outages at Air traffic control manager NAV Canada and WestJet.

NAV Canada said it was experiencing a disruption in service from one of telecommunications service providers, Zayo, and that it was “actively engaging” the company to restore the services.

Vancouver International Airport, which also was affected, said at 7:54 a.m. (1454 GMT) that check-in had started to move smoothly for WestJet passengers.

A massive network outage at Rogers (NYSE:ROG) Communications Inc on Friday disrupted nearly every facet of life in Canada, including the call center service of the country’s largest airline Air Canada.

The federal government said this week that Canada’s telecom networks need to be more resilient and asked telecommunications companies to agree to a formal deal to help each other during emergencies.