A Flair Airlines plane with 134 passengers on board ran off the runway in Waterloo on Friday morning.
The airline says that Flair Airlines F8 501 from Vancouver to Kitchener-Waterloo “exited the runway” at the Region of Waterloo International Airport shortly after landing at around 6:30 a.m.
Waterloo Regional Police have told CP24 that one passenger was treated by paramedics at the scene for “a minor physical injury.”
No other injuries were reported.
Kitchener resident Paul Anstett was among the passengers on board the flight.
He told CTV News Kitchener that it appears as though the plane touched down a little further along the runway than it might normally and then couldn’t come to a stop quickly enough.
He said that visibility seemed fine at the time but the runway was wet and it was "pretty windy."
“I was actually thinking I wonder if he (the pilot) is going to do a touch and go and take off again but he didn’t, he committed and the reverse thrusters and the engine kicked in and we started slowing down. But then all of a sudden the plane was dancing on the runway a little bit. It was moving side to side and sure enough we ended up in the field,” he said. “I am just happy it was level ground and there wasn’t a ditch or something where people could have got hurt.”
Anstett said that the landing felt "a little bouncy” but he noted that there was “no panic in the cabin at all” as the Boeing 737 veered off the runway.
He said that once the plane came to a stop, the pilot made an announcement that there had been a “mishap.” Shortly after that firefighters boarded the plane to check for injured parties.
Passengers were then able to disembark the plane and board a number of city buses, which delivered them to the terminal. Passengers were able to take their carry on luggage with them but many still haven't recieved their checked baggage.
Anstett, who regularly travels out west for work, said that the experience won’t deter him from flying with Flair Airlines again. But he joked that there are some things the upstart budget airline could improve upon.
“I just received a text message from Flair asking me how was my Flair experience today and I kind of laughed at that. I am probably going to respond and say the experience was fine but it might be nice if I was brought to the terminal instead of the field next time,” he said.
At this point it remains unclear what caused the plane to exit the runway.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has said that it is deploying a team of investigators to “gather information and assess the occurrence.”
Meanwhile, the airport has said that it will be closed to commercial traffic for the rest of Friday.