WestJet will suspend all routes to Moncton, Fredericton, Sydney, Charlottetown and Quebec City, as well as reducing routes to Halifax and St. Johns as of November 2nd, calling the business ‘unviable.’ The cancellation of 100 plus weekly flights will lead to the loss of 100 jobs.
WestJet has already laid off thousands of employees and grounded 70% of it’s planes. The airline, which normally moves two million passengers each month, has only moved a million people since the start of the pandemic.
The travel industry has been rocked by covid-19. On top of the stay home orders and contagion fear, mandatory quarantines have been another nail in the coffin. The Atlantic Provinces have created a regional bubble where people can travel within but anyone entering from the rest of Canada must quarantine. Canada’s border with the US has been closed for non-essential travel since the beginning of the pandemic and anyone entering Canada from abroad also must quarantine.
Flight Path Ahead
- The Airlines along with the industry unions are calling on the government to provide $7 billion in low interest loans to keep the sector in the skies.
- Airports Council International and International Air Transport Association are lobbying the government to re-open borders and replace quarantine with testing, pilot projects are underway.
- Air Canada, who suspended 15 regional routes in Atlantic Canada earlier this year, is now the only major airline servicing the region.