COVID-19 Update: Ethiopian Airlines, Transat and More

Ethiopian Airlines Updates Canada Flights

Ethiopian Airlines Canada reports that direct flights for April have been reduced.

Flights are departing from Toronto Pearson International Airport on the following dates: April 2, 4, 7, 11, 18 and 21; Flights are departing from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport to Toronto on the following dates: April 1, 3, 6, 10, 17 and 20.

Flights departing Toronto Pearson for the following dates have been cancelled: April 9, 14, 16, 23, 25, 28 and 30; flights departing Addis Ababa Bole have been cancelled for the following dates: April 8, 13, 15, 22, 24, 27 and 29.

Ticket(s) are valid for one year or a refund can be made. Call Centre: 1-800-4452733 available 24/7; 1-416-962-0005, ext. 202 or ext. 203 or 204 (from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST).

E-mail: [email protected].

Etihad Updates Credit Offering

Following a directive from authorities wanting to contain the spread of the COVID-19, Etihad Airways temporarily suspended flight operations for an initial 14 days as of March 24.

To support passengers with impacted travel, Etihad has updated its Etihad Credit offering by providing an additional bonus of up to 5,000 Etihad Guest Miles depending on the booked cabin class. Eligible Etihad Guest members redeeming Etihad Credit will automatically receive the bonus miles within four weeks of their credit being issued. Guests not yet members of Etihad Guest can also claim bonus miles by applying online at

Etihad Credit allows customers to cancel their flight and use the value as a credit to rebook their trip for travel until July 31, 2021 – any ticket, any fare type, any Etihad destination. Any fare difference from the original ticket price will be charged. Bonus Tier Miles will also be provided to eligible Etihad Guest members to keep them on track to reaching their next tier, even when it’s difficult to travel.

Guests wishing to take advantage of Etihad Credit should visit and complete the form online. A list of other local contact centres is available at

A Note From Transat President, CEO Jean-Marc Eustache

“Dear travel professional,

We know that this crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty and has had some serious repercussions on your daily life and your role as a travel adviser.

Even as the situation changes rapidly from day to day, the well-being of our partners and customers remains a top priority. That’s why we’d like to share with you all the efforts we’ve made in repatriating our passengers, as well as the concrete measures we’ve put in place in these exceptional circumstances.

On a more personal note, I’ve been in the tourism industry for over 40 years, and having people travel and discover other cultures has been my life. Surrounded by an experienced and passionate team, I’ve weathered many storms since I founded Transat, and I can say one thing with confidence: our experience and resilience will help us overcome this crisis and emerge stronger than ever.

Our repatriation flights will continue until April 1

As you may know, we have begun the gradual suspension of our flights, until the temporary cessation of our operations on April 1. It was important for us that this slowdown happen gradually, to allow as many travellers as possible to be repatriated to their countries of origin.

To date, our repatriation flights have brought approximately 46,000 customers back home, and this number will continue to rise in the coming days.

I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to our flight crews who, under these stressful and difficult conditions, continue their extraordinary efforts to reassure our passengers and reunite them with their loved ones.

To support the repatriation efforts of Canadians currently abroad, we will be operating special flights over the next few days in collaboration with the Government of Canada.

We would like to remind you that all our flights are carried out in strict compliance with the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Canada in order to avoid the spread of the virus. All our passengers must also place themselves in isolation for a period of 14 days upon arrival in Canada.

Our teams are dedicated to providing quality service to our partners

We know that some of you may have had to wait a long time on the phone or on social media in the last few days. We sincerely apologize for the longer-than-usual wait times.

However, I want to assure you that our customer service agents are working hard to answer your questions as quickly as possible. Overall, our agents have responded to more than 120,000 phone calls and social media messages since this crisis began.

I also invite you to stay informed by reading the latest updates about our operations on our website and social media.

A policy of flexibility for the good of the industry

We strongly believe that the 24-month credit offered to our customers to compensate for their cancelled travel plans provides much-needed flexibility in these exceptional circumstances. In this regard, the Canadian Transportation Agency recently issued a statement on the matter, which supports our decision and highlights the fact that our proposed solution is appropriate given the current situation.

Closure of most travel agencies

While most of you are forced to close your doors in order to ensure the safety of your customers and employees, I would like to offer you all my gratitude. I know that you are working in difficult circumstances and continuing to provide exemplary service to travellers. I am confident that with our combined efforts, we will ensure the sustainability of our industry.

Although it is still too early to make any statements about what will happen next or what the full extent of the consequences of this pandemic will be, we are confident that our operations will resume shortly.

In these difficult times, our hearts go out to all of you. We know that you’re going through a situation that none of us have experienced before. I hope you will get through it with your loved ones, in good health. And I sincerely hope that the time will soon come when the joy of vacations will once again brighten your everyday.

Take good care of yourselves.”

California Update

An analysis of Tourism Economics projections shows California’s travel industry will lose US$10.9 billion in revenue and 554,000 jobs this year. Direct visitor spending will be down US$54.5 billion, about a third of what was projected.

Visit California and its industry partners will continue to aid the containment effort, fully co-operating with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s actions as it has over these past few weeks.

In particular, rural destinations have seen continued visitation to outdoor attractions from inside and outside the state, further imperiling an already fragile health system.

Working with partners at U.S. Travel and CalTravel, Visit California will do everything possible to ensure that recovery is swift and that California’s travel industry emerges as vibrant as it was before this terrible crisis began.
Every month California can accelerate the recovery offers an opportunity to gain lost revenue and put displaced employees back to work. Full recovery beginning in June, as forecasted in the Tourism Economics modeling, would mean California could recoup US$16.8 billion of the expected total US$54 billion loss in travel-related spending.

Congress is close to approving a package that includes a variety of benefits for business impacted by the coronavirus, including loan guarantees, loan forgiveness, tax relief and direct grants.


WTTC Implores G20 Leaders to Help Out

World tourism leaders were urged to execute crucial measures to save the Travel & Tourism sector, ahead of a special meeting of the G20 hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The call was made by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, to prevent a catastrophic collapse following the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, putting up to 75 million jobs at immediate risk.
WTTC implored the G20 leaders to assign resources and co-ordinate efforts to rescue major travel businesses such as airlines, cruises, hotels, GDS and technology companies, as well as the SME’s, such as travel agents, tour operators, restaurants, independent workers and the entire supply chain, in order to save the jobs of the 330 million people who rely on Travel & Tourism for their livelihoods.