Cancellations, delays: Snow impacting flights to and from Vancouver Island

Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
File photo.

Wednesday’s winter weather has made commuting difficult on Vancouver Island, including for air travel providers that have grounded flights due to snow.

Victoria International Airport (YYJ), in an update on its website at 12:30 p.m., said flight delays and cancellations were continuing. Its flight status pages show numerous flights, including arrivals and departures, are cancelled while others are delayed.

“Please check the status of your flight with your airline before coming to the airport and give yourself extra time to get here,” YYJ said in the announcement.

“Your safety is always first and foremost.”

It said snow-clearing activities were continuing at the airport, and it thanked maintenance crews, airlines and service providers for working on a snow day.

Rod Hunchak, YYJ’s director of business development and communication relations, tells CHEK News the airlines decide if their planes are going to fly.

“Late yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon and into the evening, the air carriers were starting to do some advanced cancellations just in anticipation,” said Hunchak.

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Weather is also impacting flights to and from central Vancouver Island, according to Nanaimo Airport (YCD), which posted to X (formerly Twitter) at 8:48 a.m.

“Please make sure to confirm the status of your flight before arriving at YCD, and leave yourself extra time to travel safely,” it said in the posts.

YCD posts flight status updates to its website here.

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Helijet, which provides helicopter service on the Island and B.C.’s lower mainland, posted to X around 11:30 a.m. saying all scheduled flights between Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver are cancelled for the remainder of Wednesday.

“For additional information, or to reschedule existing bookings, please call us at 1.800.665.4354,” Helijet said in the post.

Harbour Air, the all-seaplane airline, has also cancelled flights to and from the Island, including all Wednesday departures from Victoria Harbour, Nanaimo Harbour and Maple Bay, as well as from Salt Spring Island (Ganges).

People can check their Harbour Air flight status on the company’s website here.

On Tuesday, WestJet posted a B.C. winter storm update to its X account, saying “flexible change/cancel guidelines have been announced for guests travelling to or from Canada’s West Coast region” between Jan. 16 and 17.

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Snowfall warnings are still in effect for parts of B.C., including Greater Victoria, East Vancouver Island and Inland Vancouver Island. Environment Canada predicts up to 20 cm of snow to fall on the Island through Wednesday afternoon.

Island school districts, including post-secondary institutions, have cancelled classes Wednesday, while BC Transit warned local bus-goers to expect delays and cancellations and Canada Post issued a red service alert for the region.

READ PREVIOUS: Snowstorm inbound for B.C.’s South Coast

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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