Thursday, 15 October 2020

More job losses at WestJet as the Canadian airline pulls out of Atlantic Canada


WestJet to cut another 100 jobs and axe services to Fredericton, Moncton, Sydney, Charlottetown and Quebec City

The staff and customers of Canadian carrier WestJet we dealt another bitter blow on Wednesday when the airline announced it will be indefinitely suspending operations to Moncton, Fredericton, Sydney and Charlottetown. The airline also confirmed it would also be significantly reducing service to Halifax and St. John's. 

These drastic measures will see more than 100 flights a week disappear from the schedule, slicing almost 80 percent of WestJet's seat capacity in the Atlantic region starting November 2.  If that wasn't a bad enough blow, the airline will also suspend operations at Quebec City, by axing the Toronto service.  

"It has become increasingly unviable to serve these markets," said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. "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."

All flights to and from Moncton, Fredericton, Sydney, Charlottetown and Quebec City will be discontinued as of November 2. So far WestJet hasn't given a date for the flights to be put back in the schedules, but, it shouldn't be expected for at least 18 months. 

Many had thought Westjet was going to service the current pandemic without significantly reducing its operating schedules. and until the announcement yesterday, it had been the only Canadian airline that maintained 100 per cent of its pre-COVID domestic network.

"We understand this news will be devastating to the communities, our airport partners and the WestJetters who rely on our service," continued Sims. "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 coordinated domestic approach. Our intent is to return as soon as it becomes economically viable to do so."

In addition to the Atlantic Canada service changes, WestJet today also announced the airline will be laying off an additional 100 corporate and operational support employees as prospects for any near-term recovery continue to fade and demand remains weak across its operations. These permanent layoffs do not include airport staff from affected Atlantic airports due to WestJet's previous airport transformation announcement.

Route Suspensions:

Route

Planned 2020
Frequency

(Pre-COVID)

Current Frequency

Frequency Effective
Nov. 2, 2020

Halifax – Sydney

1x daily

2x weekly

Suspended

Halifax - Ottawa

1x daily

2x weekly

Suspended

Moncton - Toronto

3x daily

4x weekly

Suspended

Fredericton – Toronto

13x weekly

4x weekly

Suspended

Charlottetown – Toronto

3x weekly

2x weekly

Suspended

St. John's – Toronto

1x daily

5x weekly

Suspended

Quebec City – Toronto

3x daily

4x weekly

Suspended

Planned service in Atlantic Canada as of Nov. 2, 2020:

Route

Frequency Effective Nov. 2, 2020

Halifax – Toronto

2x daily

Halifax - Calgary

9x weekly

Halifax – St. John's

11x weekly



Recommended for you...




No comments: