Canadian Manufacturing

WestJet suspends service to four cities in Atlantic Canada

Airline cuts more than 100 weekly flights across region

October 14, 2020  by CM Staff

PHOTO: WestJet Boeing 737 MAX 8/acefitt via Wikimedia Commons

CALGARY, Alta. — On Oct. 14, WestJet announced it will be indefinitely suspending operations to Moncton, Fredericton, Sydney and Charlottetown while reducing service to Halifax and St. John’s. The suspension eliminates more than 100 flights weekly or almost 80% of seat capacity from the Atlantic region starting Nov. 2.

“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,” said Ed Sims, WestJet president and CEO, in a prepared statement. “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.”

All flights to and from Moncton, Fredericton, Sydney and Charlottetown will be discontinued as of Nov. 2. A return to service date is unknown at this time.

In June, WestJet announced permanent layoffs to its workforce through its airport transformation and contact centre consolidation. Regrettably, active WestJetters from the airline’s stations in Fredericton, Moncton, Sydney and Charlottetown will be impacted by further layoffs as of Nov. 2.

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“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,” continued Sims. “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.”