Friday, February 23, 2024

Majority of Friday flights cancelled at YYJ amid freezing rain, provincial travel advisory


Friday morning feels like a deja vu of Tuesday.

Victoria International Airport (YYJ) is once again seeing numerous cancellations as snowfall, freezing rain and cold temperatures are looming over Greater Victoria.

On Friday morning, WestJet preemptively cancelled all flights in and out of Victoria and Vancouver.

Other airlines have followed suit, but Air Canada, Swoop, Pacific Coastal and Flair airlines are all cancelling or delaying flights on a case by case basis. 

Air Canada has put a ‘goodwill policy’ in place which allows customers to cancel flights online and receive a full refund between December 22nd and 26th. 

The best way to stay up to date with flight information at YYJ is through their website on the arrivals and departures pages. 

As of 10 a.m. on Friday, 22 of 33 flights meant to depart today have been outright cancelled with three flights being delayed.

You can also follow YYJ on Twitter for updates from the airport. 


BC Transit has suspended all routes until at least 1:30 p.m. in the Greater Victoria region and BC Ferries has cancelled its early morning sailings as well following the province’s travel advisory early on Friday morning.

Environment Canada is calling for freezing rain and ice pellets all day on Friday with more rain to come heading into the weekend.

“A layer of above freezing temperatures has formed above the cold arctic air persisting near the surface. Ice pellets and freezing rain will become intermittent later this morning as a pacific front moves through,” said Environment Canada in a weather statement 

“Ice accretion of 2 to 5 mm is possible before temperatures rise above freezing late this afternoon.”

“Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery. Take extra care when walking or driving in affected areas. Utility outages may occur.”

On Thursday afternoon, the province held a press conference asking British Columbians to stay home and not drive on the roads if they can. 

Friday’s weather system that is causing a winter calamity so close to Christmas began in the interior, sweeping through the mountain ranges and making their way through the province to the coastal fjords and out to Vancouver Island. 

“I strongly encourage everyone in these areas to travel only if necessary,” said Bowinn Ma, Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness.

Significant freezing rain is being predicted and will cause icy road conditions all through the province.

According to the province, highway maintenance workers will be working 24/7 through the rest of the week in an attempt to keep up with the weather system by plowing, sanding and salting.

Curtis Blandy

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