Tuesday,  May 30, 2023  6:44 am

Air Canada restores select Caribbean/Mexico, other int'l routes in summer schedule

Air Canada restores select Caribbean/Mexico, other int'l routes in summer schedule
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and DailyXtra.ca. Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

Air Canada has begun restoring service to Caribbean and Mexico destinations that were previously suspended due to its agreement with the Canadian government to ground most sun flights during the global pandemic.

According to an updated schedule online, Air Canada is gradually rebuilding a network of sun destinations for this June and July.

Future flights from Toronto and Montreal (unless otherwise noted) that Air Canada hopes to resume this summer includes:

  • Cancun (4 flights/week, resuming June 26)
  • Punta Cana (4 lights/week, resuming June 26)
  • Montego Bay (5 flights/week, resuming July 1) - Toronto only
  • Varadero (1 flight/week, resuming July 3)
  • Bermuda (1 flight/week, resuming July 3) - Toronto only
  • Cayo Coco (1 flight/week, resuming July 3)

Air Canada, in April, announced that it would be extending its voluntary suspension of most sun flights through May.

The airline has, however, been operating limited service to Barbados, Kingston and Mexico City for the purpose of transporting cargo and essential workers, the company says.

Air Canada’s summer schedule is based on a prediction that travel restrictions will ease by then, company spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick told PAX on Monday (May 17).

Airlines need enough lead time for marketing and selling seats in advance, but as was seen in April, pandemic-related suspensions can be extended at any time, depending on travel restrictions and the public health situation.

Recognizing that demand for sun destinations trails off during the summer months, Air Canada appears to be more focused on highlighting deals in its fall and winter schedule

Meanwhile, Air Canada, last month, updated its booking policy on all future travel.

In cases where a customer's flight is cancelled or rescheduled by more than three hours, Air Canada will now offer all customers the choice of receiving a refund, an Air Canada Travel Voucher or the equivalent value in Aeroplan Points with a 65% bonus.

Air Canada has also extended its existing goodwill policy so customers can make a one-time change without a fee for all new or existing bookings made through May 31, 2021 for original travel until May 31, 2022.

Europe, U.S., SA, Middle East 

Beyond the Caribbean, Air Canada plans to restore more routes to Europe also, including:

  • Athens (2 flights/week, starting June 1)
  • Dublin (3 flights/week, starting July 2)
  • Rome (3 flights/week, starting July 2)
  • Reykjavik (4 flights/week, starting July 2)
  • Lisbon (4 flights/week, starting July 3)
  • Zurich (3 flights/week, starting July 3).

These come in addition to daily flights to London and Paris that are already operating.

More U.S. destinations will be added this summer, including Honolulu and Maui, as well as flights to select cities in South America and the Middle East.

Limited Asia Pacific flights that have already resumed include service to Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo/Narita. 

“As we’ve done since the onset of the pandemic, we will continue to dynamically adjust capacity as the situation evolves,” Lucie Guillemette, executive vice-president and CCO at Air Canada, said at the company’s first quarter analyst call on May 7. “Looking ahead, we are optimistic about the continued vaccine rollout in Canada and around the world, the guidance supporting vaccinated travel from health agencies, including the CDC and the European Medicines Agency, and the increased adoption and acceptance of vaccine passports.”

“Once the critical mass of Canadians is vaccinated and the number of COVID cases begin to flatten which the government’s modelling predicts could be this summer, we anticipate restrictions and lockdown measures will begin to be lifted.”

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