Canada Air Transat blames 'factors beyond our control' for stranded Ottawa passenger saga

02:35  10 august  2017
02:35  10 august  2017 Source:   cbc.ca

RCMP, Edmonton police team up to rescue stranded rafters

  RCMP, Edmonton police team up to rescue stranded rafters Two Alberta RCMP detachments and Edmonton police teamed up Saturday to rescue three rafters stranded overnight on the Athabasca River. The people were rafting down the river on a homemade raft that tore when they tried to lower the anchor. They spent Friday night on the river bank south of Emerson Bridge while they waited to be rescued."In the environment that we police and work in, time is of the essence," said RCMP Staff Sgt. Peter King. "Time can impact if people survive or not.

Air Transat is blaming "a confluence of factors beyond our control " for the lengthy delay of How paramedics responded to 911 calls from Air Transat passengers stranded in Ottawa . Agency has now scheduled a public hearing into the stranded passenger saga to take place Aug.

Factors ' beyond our control ' to blame for stranded Ottawa passenger saga , Air Transat says. Air Transat files response in stranded Ottawa airplane saga .

Emergency crews surround an Air Transat flight that sat for hours at the Ottawa airport on Monday night. © Stephane Beaudoin/CBC Emergency crews surround an Air Transat flight that sat for hours at the Ottawa airport on Monday night. The airline that left passengers stranded on the Ottawa airport's runway for hours last week says it tried its best to get them back in the air — but workers failed to give its two planes proper refueling priority.

Air Transat is blaming "a confluence of factors beyond our control" for the lengthy delay of international Flights 157 and 507, both of which were diverted to the Macdonald-Cartier International Airport on July 31 due to bad weather in Montreal.

The airline's defence is found in the legal response it filed last Friday to the Canadian Transportation Agency, which has announced it will hold an inquiry into what went wrong that night.

'You can't do this to us': Fuming passengers stuck on planes for hours call 911

  'You can't do this to us': Fuming passengers stuck on planes for hours call 911 Passengers on two Air Transat flights were stuck on planes at the Ottawa airport for hours on Monday after being diverted due to stormy weather, and at least two of them called 911. Air Transat flight 157 from Brussels was scheduled to arrive in Montreal at 3:15 p.m. ET Monday, but was diverted to Ottawa after circling east of Montreal due to thunderstorms.The flight landed at the Ottawa airport just after 5 p.m. ET, after more than eight hours of flying time.It then sat on the tarmac for six hours, and passengers weren't allowed to get off. Laura Mah, who was on board, spoke to CBC News as they waited.

Air Transat blames ' factors beyond our control ' for stranded Ottawa passenger saga . After Air Transat saga , passenger bill of rights aims to punish airlines into being good.

for stranded Ottawa passenger sagaAir Transat is blaming "a confluence of factors beyond our control " for the lengthy delay of international Flights 157 and 507, both of “Have been stuck on an @ airtransat plane at @TorontoPearson for 2.5 hours, with an 8 month old. Got water an hour ago.

The agency made Air Transat's response public Wednesday afternoon.

Hundreds of passengers were prevented from leaving the two planes after they touched down at around 5 p.m. in Ottawa last Monday.

One passenger, Laura Mah, told CBC News that food was being rationed, the cabin temperature was steadily rising, and people were being given almost no information about what was going on.

The situation became so desperate that at least two passengers called 911.

Air Transat's timeline

Air Transat's legal filing contains the airline's own timeline of the events that transpired that day, starting at around 4 p.m. ET when crews were told that passing storms had closed the Montreal airport.

The two planes assumed a "standard holding pattern," and were at one point mistakenly told that the Montreal airport had reopened, before touching down in Ottawa an hour later.

How 911 dispatch responded to Air Transat passengers at Ottawa's airport

  How 911 dispatch responded to Air Transat passengers at Ottawa's airport Audio from paramedic dispatchers is shedding light on how emergency crews handled 911 calls from passengers stranded on the Ottawa airport's tarmac Monday, after their flights were diverted from Montreal due to bad weather. The recording, provided by Broadcastify, covers about 25 minutes, from the paramedic call centre first dispatching crews to the Ottawa International Airport, to a final report back from one of the paramedics who went to the scene.

Air Transat is blaming "a confluence of factors beyond our control " for the lengthy delay of international Flights 157 and 507, both of which were diverted to the Macdonald-Cartier Air Transat blames ' factors beyond our control ' for stranded Ottawa passenger saga - Ottawa - CBC News.

Factors ' beyond our control ' to blame for stranded Ottawa passenger saga , Air Transat says. Transportation agency demands answers after stranded airline passengers call 911. 'You can't do this to us': Fuming passengers stuck on planes in Ottawa call 911.

Both planes were then told to park on one of the airport's runways. At that time, about 20 to 30 other aircraft had already been diverted to Ottawa's airport, Air Transat said.

The two planes shut down their main engines and switched to auxiliary power units to keep the lights on and onboard ventilation systems in operation. However, the high temperatures, plus the number of passengers on board, meant temperatures steadily rose to above 23 C, Air Transat said.

Crews tried to get permission to refuel while on the runway, the airline said, but their requests were turned down. There was also a "critically-high demand" for air stairs, which could have allowed passengers to leave the plane, and ground power units, which could have kept the plane cool, the airline said.

"In total, both aircraft held on the runway with no ground support whatsoever for approximately 90 minutes," said Air Transat. "Deplaning in the above circumstances was therefore a physical impossibility."

Cardinals president to the rescue for Kurt Warner’s stranded family

  Cardinals president to the rescue for Kurt Warner’s stranded family <p>Former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend in Canton, Ohio.&nbsp;</p>Nothing could go wrong, right? Well, the one thing that could get in the way is an issue with a flight.

Factors ' beyond our control ' to blame for stranded Ottawa passenger saga , Air Transat says. How paramedics responded to 911 calls from Air Transat passengers stranded in Ottawa .

' factors Archive. Air Transat blames ' factors beyond our control ' for stranded Ottawa passenger saga . The airline that left passengers stranded on the Ottawa airport’s runway.

Other planes jumped the queue

More than two hours after the planes arrived at the airport, Air Transat crews were told that refueling would soon be underway — but according to the airline, the delays continued.

While they waited, other planes that had landed before Flights 157 and 507 touched down had refueled and taken off, said Air Transat. Eventually, Flight 157 ran out of fuel and its auxiliary power units shut down. Soon afterwards, one passenger called 911, Air Transat said.

It was only then, said the airline, that air stairs were hooked up so that emergency crews could get in to the cabin.

At around 9 p.m., four hours after the two planes touched down — and "after practically all other diverted flights had been refueled" — the two planes finally got their fuel, the airline said.

Flight 507 was then able to take off, but "fuel starvation" caused problems with Flight 157's onboard systems. It wasn't until six hours after it landed that 157 was able to go "wheels up," Air Transat said.

Ottawa International Airport Authority spokeswoman Krista Kealey told CBC News that all refueling services are provided by 'third-party' workers under contract with the airport — not airport authority employees. © Giacomo Panico/CBC Ottawa International Airport Authority spokeswoman Krista Kealey told CBC News that all refueling services are provided by 'third-party' workers under contract with the airport — not airport authority employees.

"Per the above, Air Transat submits that a confluence of factors beyond our control led directly to our inability to minimize the weather-related diversion delays of the affected flights, deplane passengers from stranded aircraft and provide minimal levels of comfort to our passengers onboard," the airline concluded in its response.

Air Transat files response in stranded Ottawa airplane saga

  Air Transat files response in stranded Ottawa airplane saga Air Transat has replied to allegations that it breached its responsibilities by preventing passengers from getting off two planes stuck on the Ottawa airport's runway for hours — but for now, the nature of that response remains a secret. The airline had until 5 p.m. ET today to respond to the Canadian Transportation Agency, which launched an inquiry this week into the July 31 debacle at Ottawa's Macdonald-Cartier International Airport.

Factors ' beyond our control ' to blame for stranded Ottawa passenger saga , Air Transat says. Air Transat files response in stranded Ottawa airplane saga .

Public hearings scheduled

Some of the claims in Air Transat's response fly counter to what the Ottawa International Airport Authority said following the incident.

At the time, the authority said there was both a gate and air stairs available, and they were prepared to bring supplies beyond just bottled water to the stranded passengers — but never received clearance from Air Transat.

Air Transat staff were also "uncommunicative" that night, the authority said in its initial statement.

In an email Wednesday, airport authority spokesperson Krista Kealey told CBC News that refueling services are offered by "third-party fuel providers" who are not employees of the airport.

Kealey also said that any airline that diverts to the Ottawa airport would be charged $2,000, plus an additional $3,000 if they decided to allow their passengers to disembark and use the airport's terminal.

The Canadian Transportation Agency has now scheduled a public hearing into the stranded passenger saga to take place Aug. 30 and Aug. 31 in Ottawa.

If it finds Air Transat did not abide by the terms of its international tariff — a document that sets out its obligations to its passengers — the CTA could order the airline to financially compensate the passengers on board the two planes.

The inquiry will not tackle "broader questions" about tarmac delays at Canadian airports, but rather the specific events that took place July 31 at the Ottawa airport, the CTA said.

Read Air Transat's response here:

Ottawa inks education deal with First Nations .
OTTAWA - The federal government says it has reached a self-governance agreement with 23 Ontario First Nations, the largest such deal of its kind in Canada.&nbsp;The agreement with Anishinabek Nation First Nations, the culmination of more than 20 years of negotiations, grants communities greater control over education on reserve from junior kindergarten to Grade 12.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!