WestJet cutting more than 100 weekly flights

WestJet cuts flights to Atlantic CanadaMore

Calgary-based WestJet said it will be indefinitely suspending operations to Moncton, Fredericton, Sydney and Charlottetown while significantly reducing service to Halifax and St. John's.

WestJet also announced Wednesday it will lay off an additional 100 corporate and operational support personnel given that "prospects for any near-term recovery continue to fade" with travel demand still weak.

Effective Nov. 2, more than 100 weekly flights - representing nearly 80 per cent of its seating capacity for the region - will be eliminated.

"It has become increasingly unviable to serve these markets", WestJet Chief Executive Officer Ed Sims said in a news release.

Bell adds WestJet will continue to evaluate operations in Halifax and St. John's to determine how employees will be affected by a reduction in services in those communities.

The airline also said it was suspending all flights to Quebec City.

Virus cases rise across Europe, S Korea
This week has seen the Netherlands close bars and restaurants and the Czech Republic and Northern Ireland close down schools. German Chancellor Angela Merkel renewed an appeal to citizens to abide by hygiene and distancing rules and avoid groups.

Alicja Siekierska is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada.

The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as related government-imposed travel restrictions, have devastated demand for air travel around the world.

"It has taken decades to build this robust Canadian network to its highly competitive position".

Since 2003, WestJet has successfully brought competition and lower fares to the Atlantic region through new service and routes, while driving tourism and business investments.

Air Canada announced in June that it would suspend 30 domestic routes and close operations at eight regional airports across the country, including two in Atlantic Canada.

Halifax seat capacity will be reduced by 70 per cent year over year. Almost half of those suspended routes serviced Atlantic provinces.

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