MIAMI – As a result of Canada’s updated restrictions on international travel, Air Transat (TS) has suspended scheduled flights until April 30. The Airline also announced today its passenger repatriation operations will take place within two weeks.

Although TS suspended all flights to Toronto on January 28, the new restrictions now affect all its scheduled flights. According to the airline’s website, “We are putting in place the Canadian Government’s new measures, including not travelling to the South.”

Restrictions force the airline to suspend operations temporarily, including those from it European destinations. However, TS says it will take all necessary actions to return all customers back to Canada.

“We obviously share the government’s objective to protect Canadians from COVID-19 and its new variants, and this is what all of our personnel have been doing in recent months, particularly on board our aircraft, with a comprehensive program of adapted sanitary measures.” Eustache said.

Photo: Liam Funnell/Airways

Repatriation Flight Program

During the next two weeks, TS will carry out dozen flights to return its customers to Canada. Those who are expecting to return between now and February 13 will maintain their original flights, while those whom TS has canceled their flights will be immediately transferred to other flights. 

The first priority for the airline is thus to bring Canadians back home. Passengers who are unable to fly back until April 30 will have their flights refunded and/or schedule to a later date.

Photo: Tony Bordelais/Airways

Federal Government Support Crucial

Considering the dire situation the whole industry faces, TS re emphasizes the importance of sector-specific financial assistance from the federal government. According to the airline, this vital financial aid will protect the state’s specific investments in recent years, not to mention the tens of thousands of employees who have left unemployed.

In fact, the airline industry is a highly competitive one, and since the pandemic outbreak, many foreign airlines have received extensive government’s funding. TS says this creates a significant disparity that has harmed Canadian airlines’ productivity for months and threatens their sustainability. Apparently, the whole Canadian economy starves for the strategic role the airline industry plays, and will continue to do so until recovery takes place.

However, since the pandemic outbreak, TS has taken several measures to secure the company and its profitability, including temporary layoffs that affected 75% of its employees. Alas, these new restrictions and the ban on flight operations mean more flight crews and support staff will be laid off.

Featured image: Daniel Sanders/Airways