WestJet is cancelling about 80 percent of its flights to Atlantic Canada as the pandemic continues to depress air travel, particularly to the Maritimes Provinces, which have strict quarantine requirements in place. “The lack of travel demand combined with domestic quarantines means that sadly we can no longer maintain our full Canadian network of service,” CEO Ed Sims said in a video post last week. WestJet has suspended service to Moncton, Fredericton, Sydney and Charlottetown and cut the number of flights to Halifax and St. John’s. It totals 100 flights. The airline is also suspending its Toronto-Quebec City service.
In making the announcement, Sims also put in a plug for federal support for the aviation industry. “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.” WestJet’s latest cutbacks will result in 100 job losses in addition to the 4,000 workers that have been laid off since March.