Frustration in eastern Canada in wake of WestJet’s planned route suspensions

Frustration in eastern Canada in wake of WestJet’s planned route suspensions 

HALIFAX — WestJet is making further suspensions to its network in Eastern Canada, as it makes good on previously stated plans to focus more of its service in Western Canada.

According to a report by CBC, WestJet will suspend flights between Halifax and Montreal effective Oct. 28, 2022, and from Halifax to Ottawa and St. John’s starting in early January 2023.

“We understand that this is disappointing news and we apologize for any disruption this caused our guests and communities,” said WestJet’s Chief Commercial Officer, John Weatherill.

WestJet’s flights out of Halifax for the coming months still include nonstops to Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary, as well as service to Orlando and Cancun.

 

“CUSTOMERS HAVE HAD ENOUGH CANCELLATIONS”

Travelweek reached out to Gary Gaudry, President, Maritime Travel, to get his take on the latest route suspensions.

“Ever since WestJet announced that they are ‘reducing capacity in the east over the next year’ and concentrating on the west, we have absolutely seen a drop in bookings,” Gaudry tells Travelweek, adding that St. John’s has seen the biggest drop, followed by Halifax.

“Why would customers book WestJet when there is a good chance the flight may be cancelled? And who can blame the customers? I think the customers have had enough cancellations and schedule changes over the past two years that they are not willing to risk another,” says Gaudry.

And patience for travel vouchers is wearing thin. “Now that the ability to refund lower fare tickets is no longer available, the customer would be left with another credit to use,” he adds.

Says Gaudry: “I personally believe that once WestJet finalizes their eastern schedule, more customers will start to book with them again.”