An Air Canada plane gets ready for takeoff at the international airport in Calgary in this September 20, 2011 file photo. Canada's government headed off a simultaneous strike and lockout at the country's largest airline on March 8, 2012, referring two labour disputes at Air Canada to a federal tribunal.
Credits: REUTERS/Todd Korol/Files
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Air Canada is facing "a number of operational challenges" just as families take to the skies to return home after March Break.
There were reports some pilots were calling in sick Saturday after number of domestic flights were cancelled, including flights from Montreal to Toronto, as well as some U.S. cities, while several others were listed as delayed.
Air Canada did not confirm or deny whether pilots were calling in sick.
"On this peak travel weekend, we face a number of operational challenges, including weather," company spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick told QMI Agency by e-mail. "However, the vast majority of Air Canada employees are working hard to get our customers to destination safely."
Stephanie Lepage at Montreal's Trudeau airport said she had not heard about pilots calling in sick, but she noted fog delayed 50 outgoing flights and cancelled 20 between 5:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.
A spokesman for the Air Canada Pilots Association did not immediately return requests for comment.
On Thursday, the Senate passed legislation to prevent a work stoppage at Air Canada -- a move the union said it would fight.
The bill prevents the airline from locking out pilots as well as members of its machinists' union, and it also prevents the two unions from striking. It sends Air Canada's contract disputes with the two unions to binding arbitration.