Following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s COVID-19 briefing today, the WestJet Group confirmed that it is temporarily ceasing international flying to 14 sun destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean in response to a request from the Canadian government.
WestJet’s president and CEO, Ed Sims said: “The government asked, and we agreed. While we know that air travel is responsible for less than two per cent of cases since the start of the crisis, and even less today, we recognize the Government of Canada’s ask is a precautionary measure.”
Sims continued: “We also note that the overwhelming majority of quarantine exemptions, well over 90% in fact, are connected to land borders and not air travel. We have responded to their request and will suspend service to destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean.”
The carrier indicated that over the subsequent two weeks, it will work to bring its passengers already in destination back to Canada.
Effective Sun., Jan. 31 at 12:01 a.m. ET, WestJet will suspend southbound operations to the following destinations until April 30:
- From Vancouver to Puerto Vallarta, Cancun and Cabo San Lucas
- From Calgary to Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun in Mexico; and Liberia, Costa Rica
- From Edmonton to Cancun and Puerto Vallarta
- From Toronto to Cancun, Mexico; and Puerto Plata and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica; Liberia, Costa Rica; Varadero, Cuba; Saint Lucia; Saint Marten; Nassau, Bahamas; and Bermuda.
Service suspensions by Swoop include:
- From Edmonton to Mazatlan, Mexico; and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
- From Toronto to Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Cancun, Mexico.
Through its Safety Above All program, the WestJet Group has implemented extensive safety measures since the start of the pandemic and as a result, there have been no documented cases of person-to-person transmission onboard the airline’s flights.
Said Sims: “The pandemic has had devastating impacts on our hard-working people, and they have made tremendous sacrifices throughout.”
He continued: “The government recognizes how uniquely hard hit our industry has been and has acknowledged our efforts to curb the spread of the virus. We note their words of support for our airline as a strong partner in the fight against COVID-19.”
WestJet indicated that for guests with travel booked during the impacted period, it will proactively notify them of their options.