The airline has called out Canada's "cumbersome travel rules."👇✈️
If you've got an upcoming flight, you should check your emails ASAP! WestJet has confirmed that it's consolidating 20% of its services throughout February and it's in addition to previously-cancelled flights.
In a statement on Tuesday, January 18, the company confirmed that Canada's "cumbersome travel rules" were in part to blame for the change, which is the latest in a series of cancellations from Canadian airlines.
According to WestJet, the Omicron variant's impact on staffing levels and the "prolonged impact of government barriers on our business" are to blame for the changes.
Describing it as a "difficult decision," the Canadian carrier confirmed that 20% of its scheduled routes would be consolidated throughout the month of February.
This is in addition to the flights that were slashed by the airline in January 2022.
It says that impacted travellers will be "proactively notified" of changes to their itineraries via email. Flexible change and cancel guidelines, as well as schedule change refund policies, apparently remain in place.
“As we continue to navigate the unpredictability of the Omicron variant on our staffing levels along with the ongoing barriers to international travel, we are making every effort to proactively manage our schedule in order to minimize disruption to our guests’ travel plans,” said Harry Taylor, the company's temporary CEO.
“To our guests impacted by these additional consolidations, we sincerely apologize for the disruption and appreciate your continued understanding and patience.”
He added that the company continues to call for the elimination of "cumbersome travel rules that are unnecessarily impacting Canadians and prolonging the recovery of the travel and tourism sector.”
The message comes just one day after WestJet, Air Canada, and Toronto Pearson Airport called on the federal government to relax travel restrictions at Canada's borders.
Pearson, @AirCanada and @WestJet are calling on the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario to implement changes to arrivals testing processes to help ensure scarce PCR tests are used where they\u2019re needed most. Read the open letter:https://www.torontopearson.com/en/corporate/media/press-releases/2022-01-17\u00a0\u2026— Toronto Pearson (@Toronto Pearson) 1642417882
In an open letter, they urged officials to scrap mandatory arrival testing at airports and give those resources to communities, schools and the health care system.
Since the beginning of the year, multiple Canadian airlines have announced cancellations of services due to Omicron and pandemic-related travel measures.
Air Canada has scrapped flights to some sun destinations until April 2022 and companies like Transat A.T. have made similar moves.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
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