WestJet will quickly now not fly to Moncton, Fredericton, Sydney, Charlottetown and Quebec City and drastically reduce its service to St. John’s and Halifax.
The Calgary-based airline stated Wednesday it’s eliminating 100 flights, which characterize about 80 per cent of the airline’s service out and in of Atlantic Canada. The airline additionally says additionally it is suspending operations to Quebec City, by eradicating its flight between there and Toronto.
The route cancellations imply that the airline may also shutter its operations within the airports of Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton and Sydney.
The routes will likely be cancelled as of Nov. 2. The choice may also consequence within the slicing of about 100 jobs.
“It has become increasingly unviable to serve these markets,” CEO Ed Sims stated. “Since the pandemic’s beginning, we have worked to keep essential air service to all of our domestic airports, however, demand for travel is being severely limited by restrictive policies and third-party fee increases that have left us out of runway without sector-specific support.”
The strikes imply that the entirety of WestJet’s service to Atlantic Canada will now be primarily based out of Halifax, with each day flights to Toronto, Calgary and St. John’s a minimum of as soon as a day. This time final 12 months, the airline flew 28 totally different flights throughout the area. As of subsequent month, they may have simply three. Except for the Halifax to St. John’s flight, no different Canadian metropolis east of Montreal may have a WestJet flight coming in or out of it for the foreseeable future.
Pandemic walloped demand
The modifications come amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has walloped demand for air journey. WestJet sometimes has about two million paying clients a month on its flights, however for the reason that pandemic started in March, it has solely offered about 1 million tickets, whole.
WestJet was taken non-public by Onex in a $5 billion buyout final 12 months, so the airline’s funds are now not public. But we do know that different airways have had their stability sheets obliterated by the pandemic.
In its final monetary assertion in July, WestJet’s largest rival, Air Canada, revealed it burned by way of between $15 and $17 million a day by way of April, May and June.
Earlier this summer time, Air Canada additionally cancelled 30 routes, the plurality of which have been in Atlantic Canada.
They additionally come after beforehand introduced strikes by WestJet to lay off 3,333 individuals throughout the nation, and a take care of pilots to conform to a 50 per cent pay minimize as a substitute of much more layoffs.
“We understand this news will be devastating to the communities, our airport partners and the WestJetters who rely on our service,” Sims stated. “While we remain committed to the Atlantic region, it’s impossible to say when there will be a return to service without support for a co-ordinated domestic approach. Our intent is to return as soon as it becomes economically viable to do so.”