The Prime Minister laid out strict new travel rules for all Canadians on March 16. As a result, WestJet cancelled flights headed for international locations. The new initiative starts on March 22.
A statement from Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO, confirms that the airline will be suspending all international flights for 30 days, starting on Sunday at 11:59 p.m. MDT.
Tickets for flights during this period have already been made unavailable. Starting March 18 at 11:59 p.m. MDT, the airline will also suspend all ticketing for outbound international flights prior to March 22.
The number of domestic flights will also be halved during the 30 day period.
The airline is taking measures to ensure that Canadians who are abroad can return home. They will be reducing prices on all remaining seats for flights returning to Canada.
The airline will also be working with the government to help provide rescue and repatriation flights for people stuck in other countries.
"WestJetters are known for our level of care and this situation is no different," Sims wrote in his statement, "While this is a difficult time, we now have the responsibility as a Canadian airline to bring our citizens home."
Today, PM @JustinTrudeau made a declaration to Canadians abroad that it is time to come home. Based on this, we wil… https://t.co/8JfkIkdKoM— WestJet (@WestJet)1584415976.0
On March 16, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that Canada will be closing its borders to anyone who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
The only exception to this rule is U.S. citizens, who will still be allowed entry.
While this is a difficult time, we now have the responsibility as a Canadian airline to bring our citizens home. Fo… https://t.co/epbYT7ErM4— WestJet (@WestJet)1584416383.0
Trudeau also stated that all but four airports across Canada would be closed to international travel.
The ones remaining open are Toronto Pearson International Airport, Montréal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, Calgary International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport.
As of 6:45 p.m. on March 16, there have been 424 confirmed and 16 probable cases of COVID-19 across Canada. There have also been four deaths caused by the illness in British Columbia.