If you were still hoping to take your vacation in July, there could be bad news ahead! On Sunday, it was announced that WestJet is extending flight cancellations into July, due to an unprecedented lack of demand. Around 18,000 flights between May and June are expected to have been affected so far.
In an announcement on Sunday, one of Canada’s major airlines confirmed that several of their domestic and international flights would continue to be suspended, with some routes cancelled until at least July.
While domestic route suspensions will continue through July 4, transborder and international route suspensions will continue until at least June 25.
In addition, a number of domestic seasonal routes will also be delayed, with some now rescheduled to depart in early-July.
Initially, the airline had cancelled almost all international flights until May, in accordance with the government's COVID-19 restrictions.
However, an unprecedented lack of demand has caused the airline to reconsider its upcoming schedule.
According to WestJet, their latest move is to "address significantly reduced guest demand for air travel while continuing to keep critical economic lifelines open for essential travel and cargo."
"Guests with travel booked after June 5 through July 4, will be proactively notified of their options," the company added in its statement on Sunday.
Last month, the Calgary-based company cancelled approximately 18,000 flights, scheduled to depart between May 5 and June 4.
It follows a similar move from Air Canada, who confirmed in April that more than 160 routes would continue to be suspended into June.
While the two airlines continue to cancel and suspend non-essential routes, both are still operating repatriation and cargo services.
These flights help to move essential supplies in and out of Canada, and bring Canadians back home.
For the time being, Canada’s leading airline companies are only offering travel credits to customers who’ve had their trips cancelled, rather than monetary refunds.
This includes WestJet and Air Canada.
While these credits can be used for future flights or vacations with the same airline, some customers believe that they are entitled to a full cash refund.
In fact, one Canadian has even launched a class action lawsuit against Canada’s airlines, for holding the passengers’ money “indefinitely for a purchase that... (they) may or may not wish to make in the future.”
While it’s still unclear what post-pandemic air travel will look like, Air Canada is already starting to make moves to prepare.
Last week, the airline announced that they would be checking the temperature of all passengers prior to boarding, as well as banning adjacent seats in their Economy Classes.