westjet ceo delay

WestJet CEO complains after being delayed on his own airline's flight

You know that the state of air travel in Canada is rough when even a major airline CEO is complaining. Alexis von Hoensbroech, CEO of WestJet, shared a grumpy selfie on Thursday because his flight was delayed.

On Twitter, the CEO said that he was frustrated by a two-and-a-half-hour delay on a WestJet flight to YVR Airport because Nav Canada is understaffed.

Nav Canada is a private, not-for-profit air navigation service provider used in Canada that manages a massive network of air traffic control towers and more. Daily Hive reached out to Nav Canada for a response to the claims that staffing issues at its organization have led to system-wide flight delays.

"When it comes to air traffic delays, many factors come into play," said a rep. The company cited infrastructure maintenance, runway construction and weather as the most frequent source of delays. "Staffing-related delays represent only a small portion of overall system delays," said Nav Canada.

YVR Airport confirmed that it had experienced 110 delayed flights throughout the day, representing 14.8 per cent of its schedule. Some arriving flights were delayed "due to resource constraints within Nav Canada's air navigation system."

But the WestJet CEO took aim nonetheless.

"We would have been perfectly on time," he wrote on Twitter. "Now many guests will miss their connections. Shows again why we need a proper shared accountability system across the entire sector."

Nav Canada's response

Nav Canada confirmed to Daily Hive that a temporary Ground Delay Program was put in place at Vancouver International Airport today "due to system capacity constraints within the air navigation system that were compounded by unplanned absences."

Ground Delay Programs (GDP) help ensure that airspace and airport infrastructure do not get overwhelmed or gridlocked.

"Having enough people to deliver safe and efficient air navigation services is a top priority for Nav Canada," said a rep.

"Our front-line air traffic services training programs are currently being run at full capacity. We currently have more than 400 employees in training and more than 600 individuals will enter our training programs in the following two years."

"It is a company-wide priority to make every effort to support the anticipated increased traffic during busy travel seasons and we are committed to working with our employees and unions on this front."

What's the worst airport delay you've experienced? Let us know in the comments.

Lead photo by


Latest Videos

Latest Videos

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Travel

Canadian passport now beats U.S. passport in global ranking

Toronto woman still waiting for compensation after American Airlines lost her luggage

U.S. axes strict border rule changes for Canadians travelling with dogs

Emergency vehicles rush to flight with 130 passengers after landing in Toronto

You can glimpse what used to be the largest silver mine in the world under an Ontario lake

Rules for Canadians crossing the U.S. border with dogs to change and here's what's new

Here's how the global IT outage is impacting airline and other operations in Toronto

People horrified by claims visitors to Ontario beaches are pooping in the sand