Air Canada has suspended all flights to the United States until May 22nd while WestJet has suspended flights from Canada to the United States through June 25th. In April, WestJet was carrying passenger loads 95% down from April 2019. Today’s announcement of further service suspensions suggests the airline is still in mission-critical mode. Air Canada expects to resume service to the United States on May 22nd.
These new flight suspensions come on the back of extensive service cuts this month. Some 600 WestJet flights a day are being cut throughout May. That is about 18,000 flights over the entire month. WestJet is trying to maintain some domestic flying.
WestJet is also suspending dozens of domestic routes from June 5th through to July 4th in response to a significant fall in passenger demand. Today’s flight suspensions suggests WestJet is anticipating the pain to last a while yet. The bulk of these flights are either to or from Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton. These are also service suspensions, albeit fewer, from Toronto, Halifax, Winnipeg, and Kelowna.
Ten domestic WestJet services are being suspended from Vancouver over early summer. These include Vancouver to Nanaimo, Vancouver to Comox, Vancouver to Regina, Vancouver to Saskatoon, Vancouver to Winnipeg, Vancouver to Fort St. John, Vancouver to Cranbrook, Vancouver to Ottawa, Vancouver to Montreal, and Vancouver to Halifax.
There are also a dozen domestic services in and out of Edmonton being suspended over June. These include Edmonton to Comox, Edmonton to Victoria, Edmonton to Kelowna, Edmonton to Grande Prairie, Edmonton to Yellowknife, Edmonton to Saskatoon, Edmonton to Regina, Edmonton to Winnipeg, Edmonton to Ottawa, Edmonton to Montreal, Edmonton to Halifax, and Edmonton to St. John’s.
From Calgary, six services will be suspended over June including Calgary to Prince George, Calgary to Ottawa, Calgary to Montreal, Calgary to London, Calgary to Halifax, and Calgary to St. John’s.
WestJet ports in Toronto and Winnipeg are seeing fewer suspensions over the start of summer. From Toronto, three routes are being rested including Toronto to Victoria, Toronto to Regina, and Toronto to Saskatoon. It is a similar scenario at Winnipeg, which is seeing the Winnipeg to Ottawa, Winnipeg to Regina, and Winnipeg to Halifax routes not flying over June. Two other WestJet flight suspensions through June are Kelowna to Victoria and Halifax to Montreal.
Some cities are being hit particularly hard by these suspensions. Saskatoon, for instance, is losing three separate WestJet services, to Vancouver, Edmonton, and Toronto, respectively. In total, that is about 40 fewer flights a week in and out of Saskatoon. It’s a similar situation at Regina, which is collectively losing about 35 flights a week to Vancouver, Edmonton, and Toronto.
In a short statement, WestJet acknowledges trying to keep routes open to accommodate essential travel and cargo while also catering to significantly reduced demand for travel.