WestJet, Canada’s second largest airline, has announced it will be indefinitely suspending its operations to Sydney, Cape Breton while it significantly reduces service to Halifax. WestJet employees in Sydney will face layoffs on November 2.
WestJet is also suspending operations to Moncton, Fredericton and Charlottetown. The suspensions to Atlantic Canada eliminates more than 100 flights weekly or almost 80% of their seat capacity from the Atlantic region starting November 2.
“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 Sydney will be discontinued as of November 2. A return to service date is unknown. Passengers impacted will be contacted directly about their options.
“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.”
Planned service from Nova Scotia as of November 2 will include two daily flights from Halifax to Toronto, nine weekly flights from Halifax to Calgary and 11 weekly flights from Halifax to St. John’s.