It was a damaged tire that forced a flight cancellation and runway closure at the Grande Prairie Airport Tuesday night. Morgan Bell with Westjet Media Relations says the tire blew right before Encore flight 3142 to Edmonton was supposed to take off at 7 p.m.
“Due to the tire damage, the aircraft was unable to taxi back to the gate and guests were safely offloaded from the aircraft to a bus and taken to the terminal,” Bell explains. “The safety of our guests and crew are of utmost importance and following the cancellation, guests were rebooked onto a new flight for the following morning.”
Westjet says it tried to get passengers on different flights or in hotels with meal vouchers. However, it claims not everyone could be put up for the night as there weren’t enough hotel rooms open in the city.
“We sincerely apologize to our guests for the delay and inconvenience to their travel plans,” says Bell. “We understand their frustration and are committed to working with each of them further on the matter.”
The damaged plane had to be removed from runway 12/30, and the Grande Prairie Airport says all runways were ready for use by 2:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. No other flights were affected by the closure.