"Today's computer issues have had a wide impact on our customers and we apologize for any inconvenience".
"We appreciate our customers' patience and we have arranged additional staffing to get our customers on their way as soon as possible", Smith added.
Air Canada said customers should expect "delays and some cancellations due to the outage". Reports are coming in from travellers worldwide, saying their Air Canada planes have been grounded. "We're now experiencing an interruption at our customer contact centers and [our website]", the carrier said.
Vancouver International Airport also tweeted that Air Canada is experiencing "technical issues with their computer systems nationwide".
The airline says customers are advised to check the status of their flight and check-in online at aircanada.com before going to the airport.
Many departing flights out of YVR are now being delayed.
Air Canada has confirmed a system outage is leading to service interruptions as angry passengers take to Twitter to complain about long lines and flight delays during the March break travel rush.