08/03/2017 12:18 EDT | Updated 08/03/2017 14:45 EDT

Canadian Transportation Agency Orders Air Transat To Explain 6-Hour Wait On Ottawa Tarmac

The federal agency is asking for an explanation.

GATINEAU, Que. — The Canadian Transportation Agency has ordered Air Transat to explain the circumstances surrounding a delay of two of its flights, including one in which a plane spent six hours on the tarmac at the Ottawa airport.

The agency says it wants to know whether Air Transat (TSX:TRZ) respected its terms and conditions of carriage for international flights with respect to the treatment of passengers on the aircraft.

Complaints filed by individual passengers with the agency regarding Monday's incidents will be addressed through the inquiry.

A woman who was aboard one of the flights said she and other passengers were forced to stay in the plane on the Ottawa runway for six hours in uncomfortably warm conditions.

Maryanne Zehil said the plane, which had originated in Brussels, was meant to land in Montreal but that the 336 passengers were told it would not be possible because of storms.

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The captain then diverted the plane to Ottawa.

Zehil said it was very hot in the plane and that some passengers were having trouble breathing.

Air Transat apologized to passengers in a statement Tuesday and noted that nearly 30 planes, belonging to several airlines, were rerouted to Ottawa.

"As a result, Ottawa airport staff were unable to provide with loading bridges or stairs that would have enabled the passengers on the Brussels flight to disembark or our ground crews to replenish the aircraft's empty drinking water reservoir," the airline said in a statement.

"The shortage of fuel also explains the lack of air conditioning on board for a time."

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