A Difficult Decision
WestJet has announced that it will be indefinitely suspending operations to Moncton, Fredericton, Sydney and Charlottetown while significantly reducing service to Halifax and St. John’s.
The suspension eliminates more than 100 flights weekly or almost 80% of seat capacity from the Atlantic region starting Nov. 2, 2020.
Ed Sims, WestJet president and CEO, explained: “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.”
And Sims continued: “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.”
As a result, all flights to and from Moncton, Fredericton, Sydney and Charlottetown will be discontinued as of Nov. 2. A return to service date is unknown at this time.
Guests impacted will be contacted directly regarding their options for travel to and from the region.
In June, WestJet announced permanent layoffs to its workforce through its airport transformation and contact centre consolidation.
Regrettably, active WestJetters from the airline’s stations in Fredericton, Moncton, Sydney and Charlottetown will be impacted by further layoffs as of November 2, 2020.
Said Sims: “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.”
Atlantic Canada suspensions by the numbers
- Elimination of more than 100 weekly flights or almost 80 percent of seat capacity from the Atlantic region.
- Temporary closure and service to four Atlantic stations (Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton and Sydney).
- Halifax seat capacity will be reduced by 70 per cent year over year.
- The Atlantic provinces will retain three routes Halifax-Toronto, Halifax-Calgary and St. John’s-Halifax.
- Service between Halifax and Toronto will operate with 14 weekly flights.
- Service between Halifax and St. John’s will remain with 11 weekly flights.
- Service between Halifax and Calgary will remain with nine weekly flights.
Go to www.westjet.com for more.