WestJet has announced it will be reducing service to Atlantic Canada.
As of November 2, the airline announced it will be indefinitely suspending operations to Moncton, Fredericton, Sydney and Charlottetown while significantly reducing service to Halifax and St. John’s.
This effectively eliminates 100 weekly flights and nearly 80 per cent of seat capacity from the Atlantic region.
“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,” Ed Sims, president and CEO of WestJet, said in a news release.
“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,” he continued.
The suspension of flights to and from Moncton, Fredericton, Sydney, and Charlottetown will remain in effect indefinitely—those impacted will be contacted directly regarding their options for travel to and from the region.
“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,” Sims said.
“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,” he added.
These changes will result in a 70 per cent seat capacity reduction for Halifax. Three routes that service Atlantic Canada will be retained, including Halifax-Toronto, Halifax-Calgary and St. John’s-Halifax.
Additionally, WestJet will scale back flights between Toronto and Halifax to just twice per day.