Business in the doldrums, Air Canada cuts down on dozens of domestic flights

Canada News COVID-19 Recent

Air Canada is indefinitely suspending dozens of domestic flight routes as the airline struggles to fill seats during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The airline announced Tuesday that it would end service to eight domestic cities and cancel 30 regional routes due to weak demand for both business and leisure travel in the midst of government-imposed travel restrictions and border closures.

In a statement, Air Canada said it expects the airline industry will take a minimum of three years to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

Air Canada reported a net loss of $1.05 billion in the first quarter of 2020, including a net loss of $688 million in March alone.

Earlier this month, Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu was one of more than 130 signatories to an open letter calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the country’s premiers to loosen travel restrictions as the industry struggles to stay afloat.

In May, Air Canada predicted it would lose nearly $20 million per day in the second quarter as a result of pandemic border shutdowns. In response, the airline has reduced its workforce by approximately 20,000 employees, representing more than 50 per cent of its staff, through layoffs, severances, early retirements, and special leaves.

Here is a list of the Air Canada routes that will be suspended indefinitely. The airline said they will contact affected customers and offer them options, such as alternative routings where available.

MARITIMES/NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

  • Deer Lake-Goose Bay
  • Deer Lake-St. John’s
  • Fredericton-Halifax
  • Fredericton-Ottawa
  • Moncton-Halifax
  • Saint John-Halifax
  • Charlottetown-Halifax
  • Moncton-Ottawa
  • Gander-Goose Bay
  • Gander-St. John’s
  • Bathurst-Montreal
  • Wabush-Goose Bay
  • Wabush-Sept-Iles
  • Goose Bay-St. John’s

QUEBEC AND ONTARIO

  • Baie Comeau-Montreal
  • Baie Comeau-Mont Joli
  • Gaspé-Iles de la Madeleine
  • Gaspé-Quebec City
  • Sept-Iles-Quebec City
  • Val d’Or-Montreal
  • Mont Joli-Montreal
  • Rouyn-Noranda-Val d’Or
  • Kingston-Toronto
  • London-Ottawa
  • North Bay-Toronto
  • Windsor-Montreal

WESTERN CANADA

  • Regina-Winnipeg
  • Regina-Saskatoon
  • Regina-Ottawa
  • Saskatoon-Ottawa

Here is a list of regional airports where Air Canada will be closing its stations.

STATION CLOSURES

  • Bathurst (New Brunswick)
  • Wabush (Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • Gaspé (Quebec)
  • Baie Comeau (Quebec)
  • Mont Joli (Quebec)
  • Val d’Or (Quebec)
  • Kingston (Ontario)
  • North Bay (Ontario)
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