Two major Canadian airlines continue to shorten their schedules, demanding that Ottawa withdraw the COVID-19 travel ban to stop cash outflows.
WestJet Airlines Ltd. canceled 20% of its flights in March and extended the schedule from February amid continued uncertainties that continue to deplete demand.
Interim CEO Harry Taylor said travel recommendations and testing requirements were temporary, but two years later an industry crisis came to mind.
“It’s a shame that Canada continues to stagnate on that approach, giving Canadians and inbound tourists no access to travel and continuing to be punished,” he said on Monday.
In response to requests from Air Canada and Toronto Pearson Airports last month, WestJet is a random test only on arrival, rather than a mandatory pre-takeoff and post-landing molecular test for fully vaccinated international passengers. I asked for. The Calgary-based company also wants to end quarantine if travelers returning from abroad are waiting for results.
Canada continues to be the only G7 country that requires pre-departure and on-arrival molecular testing, Taylor noted, adding that Ottawa must outline the recovery path for the travel and tourism industry.
Since early November, WestJet and its budget subsidiary Swoop have canceled their planned 11,285 trips in March, or 48%. Meanwhile, Air Canada has abandoned 16,617 flights, or 41% of its scheduled flights in March, compared to its plans for mid-October, according to flight data company Cirium.
Passengers postpone ticket purchases until near the departure date so that pandemic measures do not compromise travel plans, which could result in further airline-wide reductions. If the booking is complete, the flight schedule may be stable, but if not, even fewer planes will leave the tarmac than planned.
“Currently, the world is a very fluid place and it is difficult to plan months in advance due to restrictions and rule changes, so many people nowadays make leisure travel decisions at the very end. “We do,” said David Huttner. London-based aviation expert.
“Maybe I want to drive myself in my car. Especially on short flights, my travel habits have changed.”
From early 2020, Richard Vanderlubbe, president of Hamilton-based Tripcentral.ca, has reduced nearly 60% of its 160 employees and closed all 26 offices in Ontario and the Atlantic coast of Canada. did. It remains bright.
“I see a lot of hope,” he said. “Even though travel recommendations are still there, consumer confidence is rising … things are back. There has been a big rise.”
As Family Day observed in six states, including Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia, reads the weekly and March holiday approaches, winter and early spring bookings are increasing, Vanderrubbe said.
“Wait a little longer during the summer and watch now.”
Even if vacation bookings return, the business remains at 40% of the 2019 figure, Vanderlubbe said.
Travel agencies also needed to coordinate their approach to marketing and advertising.
“I used to sell resorts and all of them,” he said. “Now, just by organizing all the restrictions and rules, it’s like a new marketing of travel. This is very strange.”
Along Christopher Reynolds