WestJet Indefinitely Suspends Service to Four Atlantic Canada Cities
The airline has taken the difficult decision to suspend operations to Moncton, Fredericton, Sydney and Charlottetown, while significantly reducing service to Halifax and St. John’s. From November 2, 2020, the flight suspensions will eliminate 100 weekly flights to the region.
Today (October 14, 2020), WestJet announced that they will indefinitely suspend operations to four cities in the Atlantic Canada region including Moncton, Fredericton, Sydney and Charlottetown. The carrier will also significantly reduce service Halifax and St. John’s. The operational changes, which will be effective November 2, 2020, will eliminate over 100 weekly flights or 80 percent of the seat capacity from the region. Four Atlantic region stations will be temporarily closed and seat capacity to Halifax will be reduced year-over-year by 70 percent. The carrier will retain service on three routes to the Atlantic provinces including Halifax-Toronto, Halifax-Calgary and St. John’s-Halifax. In Wednesday’s announcement, WestJet’s President and CEO, Ed Sims, said,
"It has become unviable to serve these markets and these decisions were regrettably inevitable as demand is being obliterated by the Atlantic bubble and third-party fee increases. Since the pandemic's beginning, we have worked to keep essential air service to all of our domestic airports, but we are out of runway and have been forced to suspend service in the region without sector-specific support. We understand this is devastating news to the communities, our airport partners and the WestJetters who rely on our airline, but these suspensions were unavoidable without the prioritization of rapid-testing or support for the introduction of a safe Canadian bubble. We remain committed to the Atlantic region and it is our intent to resume operations as soon as it becomes economically viable to do so."
From November 2, 2020, WestJet will also suspend operations to Quebec City, with the removal of Toronto service. All guests impacted by the route suspensions will be contacted directly regarding travel options to/from the Atlantic Canada region. WestJet further announced today that they will layoff an additional 100 corporate and operational support employees, as hopes for a near-term recovery in demand continues to fade. Prior to Wednesday’s announcement, WestJet was the only Canadian carrier that maintained 100 percent of their pre-pandemic network.
Prior to the Global COVID-19 pandemic, WestJet and subsidiary regional airlines, WestJet Encore and WestJet Link, offered scheduled service to over 110 destinations across North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. WestJet and WestJet Encore continue to connect all 38 of the carrier’s Canadian domestic airports with reduced capacity, ensuring essential cargo and passenger connectivity. During these unprecedented times, the carrier has maintained their rating by Cirium as one of the top ten airlines for on-time performance in North America.