Strike by WestJet mechanics already affecting Halifax flight schedule

A strike by mechanics at Calgary-based WestJet has begun to affect the airline's operations in Halifax on the busy Canada Day weekend.

Halifax Stanfield International Airport spokesperson Tiffany Chase said travellers who are booked with WestJet this weekend and in the coming days should check for any flight updates from the airline.

Chase said the airline has indicated it will be using the email address associated with the booking to inform customers of any changes associated with their flights.

The airline operates an average of 24 flights a day out of Halifax, Chase said Saturday.

"If all of their operations weren't able to go ahead, that could impact upwards of about 4,000 travellers directly at Halifax Stanfield," she said. " However, we're not seeing that all flights are cancelled at this time."

WestJet mechanics decided to strike on Friday, a day after Labour Minister Seamus O'Regan directed the Canada Industrial Relations Board to impose binding arbitration to solve outstanding issues of the collective agreement between the airline and Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association.

The union said that about 680 workers are taking strike action.

WestJet responded to the union going on strike on Friday, saying it was "outraged."

The airline announced in a media release on Saturday that it was cancelling 235 flights from its daily schedule, affecting around 33,000 travellers.