MIAMI – Air Canada (AC) has announced the indefinite suspension of its Toronto and Sydney routes starting January 11, 2021.

According to JA Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport (YQY) CEO Mike MacKinnon, AC’s halt of the service would be “a massive blow, absolutely catastrophic to Cape Breton Island.” It is “effectively, the final nail in the coffin” for air service in the community for the foreseeable future.

In November, AC cut its operations to Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ). Then, it decided to only operated five flights per week to/from Toronto and Sydney. Today’s announcement follows the suspension of WestJet Airlines (WS) services at YQY announced in October.

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The first Air Canada Boeing 777 to receive the new Air Canada 2017 livery is 777-200, C-FNNH (c/n 35247/699 f/n 706) seen at Toronto on November 20th. PHOTO: Andrew H. Cline.

Consequences of the Service Suspension at YQY

Back in the Fall season, WS cited a diminished demand as the reason to stop operations to YQY, among other destinations. This was also a consequence of an imposed travel bubble in the Atlantic Canada region. As such, the service became “unviable”.

When the Canadian carrier cut the YHZ-YQY service last month, the Nova Scotian airport made some redundancies, said MacKinnon. At that time, he also conceded that YQY, with its current eight workers, could only “hang on so long.” Finally, the airport’s CEO marked Summer 2021 as the deadline for the airport’s survival.

While the normal passenger traffic tended to be higher in December before, the regional Canadian airport had already expected a significant decline in traffic for January and February before the recent route cut.

Featured photo: Air Canada Boeing 787-9. Photo: Aaron Davis | (IG:

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