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Air Canada operations getting back to normal

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Air Canada operations appear to be returning to normal after yesterday’s so-called “sick-out” by pilots. The airline’s website says its regular schedule has resumed following the cancellation of dozens of flights yesterday.

Some flights at YVR were delayed this morning. Earlier this morning at Toronto’s Pearson Airport, there were 17 cancellations and 50 delays listed. It now shows only a handful of cancellations and delays.

Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said the problems “are a result of planes being out of position” due to yesterday’s labour action.

Yesterday, Air Canada won an order from the Canada Industrial Relations Board, declaring that certain pilots were taking part in an illegal strike. The order calls on the Air Canada Pilots Association to take all reasonable steps to end the strike and to pressure all participating pilots to return to work immediately.

Angela Mah with Air Canada can’t say when this will all end, but does say the work order should mean putting a stop to it for now.

“We take issue with some employees who decide that they’re going to engage in illegal work stoppages that does impact our customers and impacts Air Canada and the rest of our employees as well,” explains Mah. “What I will say is that the vast majority of our pilots are professionals and they are coming to work.”

This is not the first time pilots have staged a mass sick-out. In late March, numerous pilots decided to call in sick forcing flight delays and cancellations across the country.

Several travel agents have cautioned that Air Canada needs to resolve its labour woes quickly to avoid clients deciding against booking with the airline.

If you are flying today, you’ll want to check your flight status before heading to Vancouver International Airport.

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