DALLAS – Calgary-based WestJet (WS) is to stop operating winter flights to a variety of destinations in Eastern Canada starting November 2022.
The airline will no longer offer winter service as of November 15 to Charlottetown, PEI, Fredericton, NB, Sydney, NS, and Quebec City. Service is unaffected up until that point.
The carrier said it would make an effort to rebook customers with alternative arrangements for any passengers with scheduled flights who may be impacted by the service adjustments and will notify them either directly or through their travel agent.
An Expected Move
Alexis von Hoensbroech, CEO of WS, announced in June that the carrier would shift its emphasis to becoming a Western Canada airline with additional links and routes there. He acknowledged that would entail reducing the airline’s operations in Eastern Canada, especially on smaller routes.
In addition, WS would increase its commitment to the sun and leisure areas with its impending acquisition of Sunwing.
According to a report by openjaw.com, the cutbacks come as WS begins to strategically transition flying in Eastern Canada “to focus on sun and leisure destinations as well as increased connections to Western Canada,” the airline said in a statement this week when it announced service cuts to four Eastern Canada routes.
Comments from Westjet CCO
“We understand this is disappointing news and we apologize for any disruption this will cause our guests and communities,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “We are undertaking these strategic changes in a responsible manner and it was critical to give our guests and the communities as much advance notice as possible.”
He added, “By making these difficult decisions now, it will ensure we can offer more of what our guests expect from WestJet and solidify our airline as the most reliable and affordable airline for many years to come.”
Weatherill continued, “As a national airline, we will continue to engage with these communities and stakeholders as we look to enhance service to Eastern and Atlantic Canada through direct connections to Western Canada, sun, and leisure destinations.”
Featured image: WestJet C-GYRS Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Photo: Liam Funnel/Airways