Canada’s airports are about to get a whole lot quieter. On Thursday, Air Canada announced the suspension of more than 40 domestic flights, citing COVID-19 concerns. As the novel coronavirus continues to affect Canadian air travel, Air Canada's flight cancellations are expected to impact thousands of passengers.
In an announcement on Thursday, Air Canada confirmed that it would be suspending at least 42 domestic routes, starting from March 23.
Suspended flights include travel between several major Canadian airports, including Ottawa and Winnipeg, Ottawa and Quebec City, and Saint John and Toronto.
"We continue to adapt our schedule and capacity in response to COVID-19 and have postponed launches or extended the temporary suspension of several routes," the airline explained on their website.
According to their statement, most flights will intend to resume again by April 1; however, the company noted, "Air Canada will continue to monitor this evolving situation closely..."
The notice added, "[Air Canada] will adjust its schedule as appropriate."
The airline also noted that those with cancelled or suspended flights will be notified as soon as possible.
It is not yet clear whether passengers will be issued with a full refund or travel credit for future flights.
This comes as travel restrictions continue to be implemented across the country.
These are unprecedented times. As we band together by distancing ourselves for the greater good, safety remains our… https://t.co/IDqL8ieWAE— Air Canada (@Air Canada) 1584578052.0
This comes just one day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed the closure of the Canada-U.S. border to all non-essential travel.
Speaking on Wednesday, he explained, "In both our countries, we're encouraging people to stay home, we're telling our citizens not to visit their neighbours if they don't absolutely have to."
"This collaborative and reciprocal measure is an extension of that prudent approach," he said.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and @POTUS Donald Trump agreed to temporarily restrict all non-essenti… https://t.co/vbdkqSbBsX— CanadianPM (@CanadianPM) 1584572936.0
Over the last week, the Canadian Government has been taking increasingly extreme measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.
Earlier this week, the Prime Minister announced that Canada’s borders would also close to anybody who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
Additionally, international flights were limited to just four Canadian airports — Toronto Pearson, Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Vancouver International Airport and Calgary International Airport.
If you have a domestic flight booked with Air Canada between March 23 and April 1, you can check out the full list of suspended routes by clicking here.
The airline's customer support information can be found here.