As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, some of Canada’s major carriers have extended the suspension of international flights until at least June, the Canadian Press reports.
Air Canada has extended the suspension of more than 160 Air Canada routes, while Air Transat and Sunwing Airlines have cancelled all trips until May 31st.
Air Canada is still operating repatriation flights for Canadians stuck abroad in collaboration with the Canadian government, the airline noted on its website.
The carrier also states that it will continue to operate a "domestic and international flights with a reduced schedule" through May 31st.
Air Canada is offering a full credit valid for travel within 24 months of the flight cancellation date for affected passengers.
In the same vein, Air Transat is offering flight credits for travel within 24 months of the original return date.
“These are extraordinary circumstances, when all airlines and travel companies have been forced to temporarily halt or drastically reduce their operations while governments have decided to close their borders,” Air Transat noted on its website. “This unprecedented situation is well beyond our control; we believe that the 24-month credit is an acceptable solution, and we are confident that our customers will be able to travel again in the near future, once the crisis passes.”
Sunwing says passengers can redeem flight credit for departures until June 20, 2022.
“Customers with departure dates for flights or vacation packages between March 17th and May 31st are eligible to receive a future travel credit in the value of the original amount paid,” Sunwing posted on its website.
The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) says airlines are not obliged to pay back passengers for trips suspended due to COVID-19 and “should not be expected to take steps that could threaten their economic viability.”
"The CTA believes that, generally speaking, an appropriate approach in the current context could be for airlines to provide affected passengers with vouchers or credits for future travel, as long as these vouchers or credits do not expire in an unreasonably short period of time (24 months would be considered reasonable in most cases)," the agency stated.