WestJet facing flight delays, cancellations, from disruptions at U.S. airports

FILE PHOTO - A West Jet Boeing 737-700 aircraft (L) departs Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, British Columbia February 9, 2011. REUTERS/Andy Clark

MONTREAL (Reuters) - WestJet Airlines, Canada’s No. 2 carrier, is experiencing delayed and canceled flights and expects “further delays and possible cancellations if more constraints are placed” on the U.S. air traffic system, a spokeswoman said on Friday.

Hundreds of flights were grounded or delayed at New York-area and Philadelphia airports as more air traffic controllers called in sick on Friday, in one of the most tangible signs yet of disruption from a 35-day partial shutdown of the U.S. government.

“We are responding to the situation as required to keep our guests moving,” said WestJet spokeswoman Lauren Stewart by email.

Reporting by Allison Lampert; Editing by James Dalgleish