In a message to its partners, Air Canada Vacations’ vice-president, Nino Montagnese is advising that the company will be temporarily suspending service to a number of its sun destinations.
Montagnese writes: “At first glance, 2022 can be mistaken for its predecessor. Omicron ushered in a wave of renewed uncertainty that coincided with the holidays and impacted our industry yet again. But unlike the heavy restrictions that kicked off 2021, this setback is a molehill, not a mountain. And this year is nothing like the last. We’re stronger, wiser and well-prepared to manage the potential effects of COVID-19.”
He continues: “Our renewed position of strength can be seen when we look at this year’s holiday travel. Despite the confusion created by a new variant, our concerted efforts meant that the vacations of our customers were largely unaffected during the peak holiday period.”
But ACV’s VP notes that: “As we continue the winter season, a resurgence of COVID and new government regulations have reduced demand in some Sun destinations, leading to unavoidable disruptions to Air Canada’s flight schedule from Jan. 24 to April 30, 2022. You’ll be receiving an email later today if your clients’ vacation is cancelled as a result of a destination suspension, informing you of the impacted bookings.”
Montagnese points out that the changes will only impact 7% of ACV’s customers, and “we’ve maintained operations to 23 Sun destinations throughout the winter season.”
Writes Montagnese: “The challenges of this new year are not unprecedented. Based on the lessons learned in 2021, we’ve implemented the necessary policies and procedures to help our industry weather the storm. The goodwill policy we introduced last spring guarantees a refund to any customer whose vacation is cancelled by Air Canada Vacations. This was more than a gesture; it was a way to rebuild Canadians’ confidence in travel and encourage the bookings we all need to recover. We’ve also restored a level of comfort, thanks to our CareFlex travel protection plan and the COVID-19 coverage offered through Allianz Global Assurance. Despite the uncertainty created by a new variant, we’re seeing that people are planning their vacations and following through with them.”
And Montagnese concludes: “This is a fresh start bolstered by a slew of lessons. We’ve become familiar with the ebbs and flows of the pandemic now. Although we may feel trepidation when our déjà vu is triggered, we should see it instead as a sign of how far we’ve come. Pandemic travel is no longer extraordinary – it’s a reality that we’re well-prepared for. We’ve got this.”
The Nuts & Bolts
On its website — https://vacations.aircanada.com/en/travel-advisories — Air Canada advises that in light of the current pandemic context, Air Canada will be suspending some flights to Sun destinations from Jan. 24 until April 30, 2022.
Suspended destinations include:
- Puerto Plata
- Santo Domingo
- Grand Cayman
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Saint Martin/Sint Maarten
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
To help ensure that Canadians are not stranded abroad, Air Canada plans to operate a number of one-way commercial flights from affected destinations in order to return customers at the suspended destinations to Canada.
Any travellers affected by the temporary suspension of the above listed destinations will be issued a full refund. Our team will be contacting any impacted customers and processing refunds in order of departure date.
Eligible customers will receive an invoice as confirmation of their refund once it has been issued.
Please note that existing travel restrictions, including providing proof vaccination and of a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding an international flight bound for Canada, are still in effect.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you – and any child travelling with you – have all the valid travel documents required for re-entry into Canada. Please visit the Government of Canada website for more details.