3 failed landings and 7 hours in the sky, Air Canada flight returns to Pearson Airport in Mississauga, Ontario


Published February 7, 2024 at 5:15 pm

Air Canada flight spends seven hours in the air only to return to Pearson

Groundhog Day was last Friday, but for those on board an Air Canada flight that left Pearson Airport in Mississauga on Monday for the country’s East Coast only to return to its starting point just over six hours later, it must’ve seemed like the day repeated itself.

Air Canada Flight AC698 left Pearson on Monday night at about 9:45 p.m. and quickly climbed to its cruising altitude headed for St. John’s, Newfoundland.

It was supposed to be a three-hour flight, but as circumstances unfolded — largely due to nasty winter weather that had earlier brought record-breaking heaps of snow to the Maritimes — it turned into a near-seven-hour experience in the air that would end up going, well, nowhere.

On approach several hours later to St. John’s International Airport, the Air Canada Boeing 737 Max 8, which can carry up to 178 passengers, was unable to land on a first attempt in the less-than-ideal weather conditions.

A second landing attempt was similarly unsuccessful and a third — and final — try at it was not the charm as that effort, too, failed, according to FlightAware, an online organization that tracks flights around the world.

Unable to land in the East Coast weather conditions, as other airports in the region were also experiencing similar issues, Air Canada Flight AC698 set a course back to its point of origin at Pearson.

Six hours, 37 minutes after its Monday night departure, the passenger jet landed at Pearson at 4:20 a.m. on Tuesday morning, bringing passengers and crew back to where they started.

At time of publication, Air Canada had not yet replied to a request for comment from insauga.com.

Flight-tracking data from FlightAware shows the route taken to St. John’s and back to Pearson Airport again by an Air Canada flight earlier this week.

Information on the Monday night Air Canada flight from FlightAware.

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