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TORONTO — Canada’s airlines have taken swift action amid border closures and travel restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. In many cases airlines have temporarily suspended operations entirely.
Here’s the latest from Canada’s airlines. Updates will be added as soon as they become available.
LATEST UPDATE: Oct. 22 – WestJet; Oct. 14 – Porter; Sept. 28 – Transat; Sept. 18 – Air Canada, Sunwing and WestJet
UPDATED SEPT. 18: Air Canada is now flying to a select network of domestic, transborder and international destinations. Air Canada’s complimentary COVID-19 emergency medical and quarantine insurance, underwritten by Manulife, is available to eligible customers booking roundtrip international flights. It applies to new bookings made in Canada from Sept. 17 until Oct. 31, 2020, inclusive, for travel completed by April 12, 2021.
On Aug. 24, Air Canada announced that passengers with new or existing bookings made by Sept. 30, 2020 for original travel March 1, 2020 – Sept. 30, 2021 can make a one-time change without a fee. Passengers who booked directly with Air Canada who need to cancel for any reason can convert their ticket to an Air Canada travel voucher, with no expiry date, or to Aeroplan Miles with 65% bonus miles. Updated network information can be found here.
UPDATED JUNE 4: Flair Airlines has announced that it will resume service to Kelowna and Winnipeg while delaying the launch of other destinations as part of its new summer schedule. Its current route schedule will be expanded to include both Kelowna and Winnipeg in addition to Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. However, as a result of ongoing travel restrictions, Flair will also be delaying the launch of service into Ottawa and Atlantic Canada. Full refunds are being offered to passengers booked on cancelled flights to the affected destinations: Ottawa, Halifax, Saint John, N.B., and Charlottetown. Impacted guests will be contacted through email with instructions on how to receive their refunds. The airline’s latest change policies are at https://flyflair.com/travel-info/customer-service/covid-19-updates.
UPDATED OCT. 14: Porter Airlines has pushed back its restart to Dec. 15. Porter is waiving change and cancellation fees on all fares booked through Dec. 15, including Porter Escapes vacation packages. See https://s3.amazonaws.com/eporter.flyporter.com/Suspension/index.html.
UPDATED SEPT. 18: Sunwing has announced it will be offering a limited schedule in September with service from Toronto to Cancun, Varadero, Cayo Coco, Punta Cana and Montego Bay, as well as from Montreal to Cancun, Punta Cana, Varadero and Cayo Coco. Sunwing has partnered with Manulife to offer the COVID-19 Emergency Medical Certificate of Insurance at no additional cost to customers. It is included in all Sunwing vacation packages (excluding cruises) and air-only bookings with Sunwing Airlines (for a duration of 21 days or less) made between now and Oct. 31, 2020 for departures from Oct. 16, 2020 up to and including May 31, 2021.
Passengers with departures dates for flights or vacation packages March 17 – Aug. 31 are eligible to receive a future travel credit for the value of the original amount paid. Credits can be redeemed against future travel to anywhere Sunwing Airlines operates, depending on the original departure date. For original departure dates between March 17 and May 31, 2020, future travel credits are redeemable up to June 20, 2022. For original departure dates June 1 – Aug. 31, 2020, future travel credits are redeemable up to Aug. 31, 2022. For the most up to date information see https://www.sunwing.ca/en/promotion/packages/travel-advisory/.
UPDATED SEPT. 4: Swoop is set to resume operations from Pearson Airport on Oct. 25, to destinations including Montego Bay, Cancun, Las Vegas, Orlando and Tampa Bay. It will also resume operations at Kelowna International Airport for the winter season, plus flights are available from Edmonton as well.
UPDATED SEPT. 28: Transat passengers can now benefit from a COVID-19 Emergency Medical Certificate of Insurance. The insurance plan, offered through Manulife, is designed to cover emergency medical and quarantine expenses at destination, in addition to providing assistance if COVID-19 is contracted during the trip. Passengers who book a roundtrip flight from Canada to an international Air Transat destination or a Transat package to Mexico, Central or South America, or the Caribbean, from Sept. 25 to Oct. 31, 2020, for stays of up to 21 days, for departures between Oct. 1, 2020, and April 30, 2021, will be covered by the new insurance at no extra cost.
Transat’s 2020-2021 winter program features flights to dozens of destinations as well as packages to hundreds of hotels in the South and Europe. Earlier Transat announced that it had suspended all flights from Western Canada to south and USA destinations for winter 2020-2021. Transat announced on July 22 that its FTCs are now fully transferable, with no expiry date. As before, any residual credit will remain on file. The new policy applies to flights, packages and guided tours. However, it excludes credits received for cruises that are subject to their own cruise lines’ conditions. More information for Transat can be found at https://www.airtransat.com/en-CA/book/resumption-of-our-operations#%2Fresults.
UPDATED OCT. 22: WestJet’s November schedule
Through TuGo, and for reservations made on or after Sept. 18, 2020, any WestJet air-only reservation including WestJet Vacations bookings for travel to and from Mexico, the Caribbean, the U.S., Europe (including the U.K.) and inbound to Canada will provide eligible passengers no-charge COVID-19 travel insurance.
On Oct. 21 WestJet announced it will voluntarily provide refunds to original form of payment for guests with flights cancelled by WestJet and Swoop, from any time period, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. More information can be found here.
Earlier WestJet announced it was offering refunds for select flights that include a U.S. or UK destination. The refunds apply to U.S. and UK flights March 1 – June 30. On Sept. 15 it added Europe to its refund-eligible list, for flights to or from Europe and scheduled to depart between March 1 and Oct. 31.
Effective Nov. 2 all WestJet flights to and from Moncton, Fredericton, Sydney, Charlottetown and Quebec City will be suspended indefinitely. Service to and from Halifax and St. John’s will see cuts. All told the move will impact more than 100 flights per week, or almost 80% of seat capacity from the Atlantic region. WestJet says a return to service date is unknown at this time. Passengers impacted by the suspension of operations will be contacted directly regarding their options for travel to and from the region.
SUPPLIER UPDATE LISTS:
For the latest list of Cruise Line updates, click here
For the latest list of Hotel & Resort updates, click here
For the latest list of Tour Operator updates, click here