Wednesday,  July 15, 2020  1:38 pm

COVID-19: WestJet reduces domestic service while boosting repatriation efforts


COVID-19: WestJet reduces domestic service while boosting repatriation efforts
Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO (Pax file photo)
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.

WestJet is reducing its domestic service by about 50 per cent while adding repatriation flights to international and trans-border destinations to ensure the return of WestJet guests and Canadians who remain abroad amid the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The airline was quick to clarify that it is still "committed to keeping critical economic lifelines open for the 38 communities we serve across Canada." 

While WestJet is decreasing its frequency of flights within Canada, the company will still fly to all of the cities it serves.

“We have proudly served Canadians for more than 24 years and we are committed to providing them critical economic connectivity during this difficult time,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “Frequency may be reduced, but we pledge to be there for Canadians as long as possible to keep connections open and vital goods moving across our country.”  

The adjustments to WestJet's domestic schedule are temporary and "could change as more information becomes known," the company stated in a release. 

To view WestJet's updated domestic schedule for March 23rd through April 21st, 2020, click here

Meanwhile, the company's repatriation efforts continue following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's call for Canadians to return home.

Between March 23rd and March 25th, a schedule of 34 flights to the United States, Caribbean and Central America will attempt to retrieve Canadians who are stranded in destinations due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“In the face of this global crisis, WestJetters are dedicated to bringing Canadians home,” Sims said. “WestJet is known for its caring spirit and will do the right thing for our country, for our guests and for our people.”

WestJet and WestJet Vacations guests with current reservations on or after March 23rd will receive, if they have not already, an email notification of their schedule change. 

All guests are urged to check the status of their flight and their emails for the most up-to-date information pertaining to their revised departure.

Any remaining seats on these flights are now also available for booking to the Canadian public and are capped at WestJet's lowest economy fare for Canadians who require transportation home. 

Guests are encouraged to make reservations through westjet.com before contacting the contact centre for assistance.

Canadians abroad are also encouraged to register with Global Affairs Canada online at travel.gc.ca

Current public health measures will apply for all guests boarding a WestJet flight home.


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