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An Air Canada plane preparing for takeoff.

An Air Canada plane preparing for takeoff.

Air Canada is contacting passengers to let them know that many of its flights will be cancelled or cut this summer due to what it calls "unprecedented and unforeseen strains on all aspects of the global aviation system."

In a statement released Wednesday, the airline's president and CEO Michael Rousseau apologized for recent flight disruptions, cancellations and "customer service shortfalls on our part."

"Regrettably, things are not business as usual in our industry globally, and this is affecting our operations and our ability to serve you with our normal standards of care," he said.

"The COVID‑19 pandemic brought the world air transport system to a halt in early 2020. Now, after more than two years, global travel is resurgent, and people are returning to flying at a rate never seen in our industry."

According to Rousseau, these factors are causing "unprecedented and unforeseen strains on all aspects of the global aviation system," resulting in flight delays, cancellations and general chaos at airports both in Canada and worldwide.

Now, the airline plans to make "meaningful reductions" to its schedule throughout July and August, which it says will reduce passenger volume and ultimately improve the service for those who do travel.

According to CP24, as many as 154 flights per day, on average, are expected to be slashed across the peak travel months.

Many are expected to be those out of Toronto Pearson and Montreal, with domestic and Canada-U.S. routes set to be hit the hardest.

"This was not an easy decision, as it will result in additional flight cancellations that will have a negative impact on some customers," Rousseau confirmed.

"But doing this in advance allows affected customers to take time to make other arrangements in an orderly manner, rather than have their travel disrupted shortly before or during their journey, with few alternatives available."

The announcement from Air Canada comes amid chaotic scenes at many of Canada's major airports due to flight cancellations, delays, issues with luggage and ongoing public health measures.

Travellers may continue to experience complications as Canada's travel restrictions have now been extended into September, with randomized on-arrival testing set to return for passengers as of mid-July.

Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

    Helena Hanson
    Trending Editor
    Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Canada's Trending Desk focused on major news. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.
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