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Latest updates on plane crash that killed 63 Canadians



The latest on the Ukrainian plane crash that killed 176 people, including 63 Canadians, in Iran (all times Eastern):

2:45 p.m.

The University of Toronto says “several” of its students are among the 176 dead in the plane crash in Iran.

It did not provide details about how many of its students died.


It says all three of U of T’s campuses will fly their flags at half-mast as the university mourns.

2:15 p.m.

The University of Guelph now says it does not have confirmation that a student’s partner was on the plane that crashed in Iran.

The school was walking back an earlier statement suggesting a PhD student was on board with her partner.

It says two PhD students died in the crash that killed all 176 on board the flight bound for Ukraine.

2:05 p.m.

Carleton University says a PhD student and an alumnus of the school are among the dead in the Tehran-area plane crash.

The school says Fareed Arasteh was studying biology.

A family member confirms he was just married in Iran on Sunday and was on his way back to Canada to continue his studies.

Carleton says alumnus Mansour Pourjam is also among those killed.

2:00 p.m.

One of Canada’s largest banks confirmed one of its employees died in the Iranian crash alongside two other members of her family.

CIBC says Evin Arsalan, her husband Hiva and her child all died in the crash.

A list of passengers on board the flight show a passenger named Hiva Molani accompanied by a one-year-old listed as Kurdia Molani. A Facebook page for Evin Arsalani shows she is married to Hiva Molani.

1:40 p.m.

The Iranian military is disputing any suggestion that the Ukrainian airliner that crashed on the outskirts of Tehran was brought down by a missile.

Meantime, a spokesman for Iran’s Road and Transportation Ministry says the pilot lost control after fire erupted in one of the plane’s engines.

He didn’t explain how he was able to confirm that information.

1:35 p.m.

A dental office in Aurora, Ont., says one of its dentists and her daughter died in the plane crash in Iran.

E & E Dentistry says Parisa Eghbalian was travelling with her daughter Reera Esmaeilion when the plane went down early Wednesday morning local time, killing all 176 aboard.

The company says Eghbalian’s husband Hamed Esmaeilion also works there, but was not travelling with his wife and child.

The company website says Eghbalian first immigrated to Canada in 2010 and lived with her husband and daughter in Richmond Hill, Ont.

1:30 p.m.

The University of Alberta says “several” of its students died in the Tehran-area plane crash that claimed 176 lives.

University president and vice-chancellor David Turpin did not confirm how many students are among the dead.

But he says in a statement their deaths are a devastating loss for the school’s interconnected community.

1:10 p.m.

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says that while preliminary reports suggest 63 Canadians were killed in the plane crash in Iran, the number may change as they learn about dual citizens.

He describes the situation as “extremely fluid.”

Champagne is urging those whose loved ones may have been aboard the flight to get in touch with Global Affairs.

1 p.m.

The union representing Ontario’s high school teachers says one of its employees was on a plane crashed near Iran’s capital, killing all 176 people aboard.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation says Alina Tarbhai worked at the union’s provincial office in Toronto, but offered no other details about what took her to Iran.

The union says she was respected and well-liked by all.

12:45 p.m.

Western University says four of its students are among the 176 people dead in a plane crash near Tehran.

The university in London, Ont., says three of the victims were graduate students, while the other was an incoming grad student.

Meantime, the York Region District School Board near Toronto says it’s aware of multiple students who died in the crash, but did not provide further details.

12:10 p.m.

The mayor of Edmonton says numerous city residents were among those killed in a plane crash near Tehran this morning.

Don Iveson says he’s devastated by news of the crash, which claimed the lives of 176 people, including 63 Canadians.

He says the City of Edmonton is in mourning.

12 p.m.

The University of Guelph in southern Ontario says two PhD students, as well as the partner of one of the students, were among the 176 who died in a plane crash near the Iranian capital of Tehran.

The two students were studying in the departments of geography and marketing.

The University of Waterloo also says two PhD students’ names were on a list of passengers provided by the airline, but did not confirm whether they made it onto the plane.

11:40 a.m.

Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has released a statement on the plane crash that claimed the lives of 176 people in Tehran, including 63 Canadians.

Scheer says it’s a sad day for Canada, and his thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims.

Some of those killed on the Ukrainian International Airlines plane were university students headed to Canada for their studies.

10:30 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is offering his condolences to those who lost their loved ones in a plane crash near Tehran that claimed the lives of 176 people, including 63 Canadians.

He says Canada joins with the other countries grieving, and will ensure that the crash is properly investigated.

The Kyiv-bound plane crashed minutes after takeoff at Tehran’s airport on Wednesday morning.

9:30 a.m.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau says Canada has offered to help investigate a plane crash in Iran that killed 176 people aboard, including 63 Canadians.

He says his Canada is offering technical assistance to the upcoming crash investigation.

Ukrainian authorities have also offered to help probe what happened to the Kyiv-bound plane.

8:45 a.m.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is sending his love to the friends and families of the 176 people killed in a plane crash in Iran, including 63 Canadians.

He says the victims’ loved ones deserve clear answers about what caused the crash.

The plane went down just minutes after taking off from Tehran’s airport on Wednesday morning.

8 a.m.

Ukranian International Airlines has released a list of the passengers on a plane that crashed in Iran, killing all 176 people aboard.

The list includes years of birth, but not nationalities.

The youngest person listed was born in 2016, while the oldest was born in 1950.

7:40 a.m.

Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne has tweeted about the deadly plane crash in Iran, which killed 176 people, including 63 Canadians.

“Our hearts are with the loved ones of the victims, including many Canadians,” he wrote.

“I have been in touch with the government of Ukraine. We will continue to keep Canadians informed as the situation evolves.”

7:30 a.m.

Boeing has issued a statement expressing sympathy for the casualties of a plane crash in Tehran and their families, calling it a “tragic event.”

Iranian officials have said they suspect a mechanical issue brought down the 3 1/2-year-old Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

“We are in contact with our airline customer and stand by them in this difficult time,” Boeing said. “We are ready to assist in any way needed.

7:15 a.m.

Global Affairs Canada is warning against any non-essential travel to Iran “due to the volatile security situation, the regional threat of terrorism and the risk of arbitrary detention.”

The agency said Canadians, particularly those holding dual Canadian-Iranian citizenship, were at risk of being arbitrarily questioned, arrested and detained.

“Iran does not recognize dual nationality and Canada will not be granted consular access to dual Canadian-Iranian citizens,” Global Affairs said. “Canadian-Iranian dual citizens should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Iran.

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Air Canada flights delayed due to IT issue – CTV News



Air Canada reported a technical issue with its flight communications system on Thursday, causing delays across the country for the second time in a week.

In a statement to, the Montreal-based company said it was experiencing a “temporary technical issue” with the system it uses to communicate with aircraft and monitor the performance of its operations.

By Thursday afternoon, the airline said the system had “begun to stabilize,” though flights were expected to be impacted for the remainder of the day.


“The communicator system has begun to stabilize, and aircraft continue to move although still at a lower than normal rate. As a result, customers may experience delays and in some instances cancellations as we move through recovery,” Air Canada said.

“Customers are advised to check the status of their flight before going to the airport as we anticipate the impact will persist through the balance of the day.”

As a result of the system failure, the airline said it implemented a “flexible policy,” allowing customers who wished to change their travel plans to do so at no cost.

Speaking to reporters before question period, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said the federal government has been in touch with Air Canada and is encouraging the airline to get its communications system back up and running “as quickly as possible.”

“They understand the consequences of these delays and we’ll keep following up on the situation,” said Alghabra.

The system failure caused delays for the majority of flights scheduled to depart from the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport on Thursday morning, said Michel Rosset, communications manager for the Winnipeg Airports Authority.

Some Air Canada flights in the afternoon and evening were scheduled to run on time at the Winnipeg airport, but Rosset advised passengers to look online for updated flight information as that could change.

“With flights, even on a good day, things could change pretty quickly. So I’d recommend, if you’re looking for updated (flight information) throughout the day, the best bet is just to head to our website,” he told in a phone interview.

Leah Batstone, communications and marketing advisor for the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, said the Halifax airport was aware of the “IT issue” that Air Canada was experiencing and recommended passengers to keep tabs on their flight status.

“As always, travellers are advised to check their flight status directly with their airline before coming to the airport,” Batstone said in an emailed statement to

Air Canada was forced to ground its planes last week due to a similar problem with its communications system, which delayed nearly half its flights.

The airline said the issue it experienced this Thursday was in the “same systems as that of May 25, but it was unrelated.”

“We have been in the process of upgrading this system using a third-party supplier’s technology. Air Canada will continue to work with the manufacturer to ensure stability in the system in the future,” it said.

“We apologize for the impact on our customers and appreciate their patience. We are working hard to get people on their way as soon as possible.”

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Air Canada flight delays at Toronto Pearson | CTV News – CTV News Toronto



Several Air Canada flights are delayed at Toronto Pearson International Airport due to a temporary technical issue.

The Canadian airline said its system used to communicate with aircraft and monitor operational performance is impacted. Flights were delayed all across the airline’s system as a result, a spokesperson for Air Canada confirmed to CTV News Toronto.

At around 1:30 p.m., the airline said the communicator system has “begun to stabilize,” with flights continuing to move “although still at a lower than normal rate.”


“As a result, customers may experience delays and in some instances cancellations as we move through recovery,” the statement reads.

Greater Toronto Airports Authority media manager Rachel Bertone told CTV News Toronto that Toronto Pearson passengers are encouraged to check their flight status before making their way to the airport.

“We have also put in place a flexible policy for those who wish to change their travel plans at no cost,” Air Canada said.

As of Thursday afternoon, numerous Air Canada flights initially scheduled to leave Toronto Pearson this morning have been delayed to the afternoon.

Plus, many of Air Canada’s flights headed to the Toronto airport from places like Orlando, Fla., Vancouver, B.C., and New York’s LaGuardia Airport, have been delayed.

In terms of cancellations, however, just over two per cent of departures and roughly 3.5 per cent of arrivals have been cancelled – though it should be noted these percentages include all airlines. 

“We apologize to those affected, and appreciate their patience,” the statement reads.

This is the second time in a week that Air Canada has suffered a technical issue with its computer system, which delayed nearly half of all its flights.

The airline confirmed in its statement, “The issue today was in the same systems as that of May 25, but it was unrelated.”

Air Canada has not said how long the technical issue is expected to last, but said they are “working hard” to get fliers on their way as quickly as they can.

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Air Canada flight communicator system breaks down, causing widespread delays –



Air Canada is experiencing an issue with one of its internal systems, leading to flight delays across its network.

The airline said Thursday it is “experiencing a temporary technical issue with its communicator system, one of the systems that we use to communicate with aircraft and monitor operational performance.”

The issue is causing delays across the system, with 234 flights delayed so far on Thursday and 34 cancellations, according to That’s about 44 per cent of the airline’s daily load.


Air Canada’s flanker brand Rouge is also impacted, with 78 delays, or 52 per cent of its flights, as well as 11 cancellations.

It’s the second time in less than a week that the airline has been hit by a problem with its communicator system that caused delays or cancellations. On May 25, U.S. aviation regulator the FAA ordered a ground stop of all Air Canada flights due to unspecified internal computer issues. The outage lasted a little over an hour.

Air Canada says the impacted system is the same as the one from last week, but says the two outages are “unrelated.”

“We have been in the process of upgrading this system using a third-party supplier’s technology. Air Canada will continue to work with the manufacturer to ensure stability in the system in the future.”

Duncan Dee, a former executive at the airline, described the affected system as an “electronic tracking system to allow them to identify the location of their aircraft at any given time within their network.”

People on the ground watch an Air Canada jet fly over LAX airport.
An Air Canada jet is shown flying over the skies near Los Angeles International Airport. Almost half of the airline’s regularly scheduled flight load has been delayed or cancelled on Thursday because of a technology outage. (Bing Guan/Bloomberg)

“It’s the system which allows them to track their aircraft and to communicate with flights in a more automated way,” he told CBC News.

He was scheduled to fly on an Air Canada flight himself on Thursday and said it was disheartening to see the system fail twice “in such a short period of time. This isn’t something that happens very regularly … because obviously systems aren’t supposed to go down and certainly not to go down so soon, one after the other.”

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Early in the afternoon, the airline said the system has begun to “stabilize” but is not yet back to normal and delays continue.

The airline is advising anyone who is supposed to fly today to check the status of their flight before heading to the airport. 

“We are working hard to rectify this situation,” the airline told CBC News in an emailed statement. “We apologize to those affected, and appreciate their patience.”

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said he has been in constant contact with the airline and has been assured that the company is doing everything it can.

“I encourage them to get it up as quickly as possible,” Alghabra said. “They understand the consequences of these delays … they are working on restoring it as quickly as possible.”

Last month, the government tabled new rules designed to make it harder for airlines to wriggle out of compensating passengers for costly delays and cancellations. Those rules have yet to be tabled, but Alghabra said what’s happening on Thursday would be covered by existing rules since it’s being caused by something the airline can control. 

“Based on current rules, passengers are protected,” he said. “Air Canada has obligations to passengers.”

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