With the government’s ban on flights to sun destinations due to expire in just over a month, Canada’s airlines are beginning to revise schedules and ramp up flights from 01MAY.
According to a revised network schedule posted on its website, Air Canada is resuming select flights to Mexico and the Caribbean, South America, Europe and Asia starting MAY.
Flights between YYZ and Bridgetown/Barbados resume on 09MAY, YYZ-KIN on 05MAY, and YYZ-MEX on 03MAY.
For Europe, YUL-LHR and YVR-LHR restart on 02MAY, and YYZ-ZRH on 22MAY.
In South America, YYZ-GRU and YYZ-BOG resume thrice weekly on 06MAY and 07MAY, respectively. Flights to Asia between YYZ and HKG will debut 06MAY, while YVR-NRT takes off 01MAY.
“Airlines need lead time for marketing and selling seats in advance of flights, so that is why we have started selling these in anticipation of summer travel,” Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick told Open Jaw.
Air Canada is also ramping up domestic regional service by adding weekly flights to existing routes, as well as reinstating service from MAY. This includes:
- YUL-YTZ on 19MAY
- YYZ-YQB on 21MAY
- YYZ-YYT on 21MAY
- YYZ-YXE on 03MAY
“This is based on a few things, including increased testing, the administration of vaccines, and reports of various governments looking to relax restrictions, for example the return of the Atlantic bubble,” Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick also pointed out that when announcing the ban on sun flights, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government is committed to a safe restart of the travel and tourism sector as soon as conditions improve.
“He committed to work with major airlines on the future relationship between testing and quarantine requirements to enable the safe, gradual return to international air travel that was grounded in science and evidence,” Fitzpatrick said.
WestJet announced Wednesday a ramped up domestic schedule, with flights to Quebec City and the Atlantic provinces restarting in JUN.
As for international flights, WestJet’s latest schedule only runs until 04MAY. It shows the following routes restarting:
- YYC-Puerto Vallarta (03MAY)
- YYC-Cabo San Lucas (01MAY)
- YYC-CUN (02MAY)
- YYZ-CUN (01MAY)
- YYC-PVR (01MAY)
- YYZ-MBJ (01MAY)
Open Jaw reached out to WestJet about when it plans to announce a revised summer schedule, but did not receive a reply in time for publication.
A notice on Sunwing’s website advises passengers of its suspension of all flights to sun destinations between 31JAN and 30APR, 2021.
A search on the Sunwing website reveals a number of options for vacation packages south starting 01MAY, including:
- Dominican Republic: Santo Domingo, La Romana and Punta Cana
- Cuba: Havana and Varadero
- Mexico: Playa Mujeres, Riviera Maya and Cancun
- Cuba: Havana, Varadero
- Dominican Republic: Punta Cana, Santo Domingo, La Romana
- Mexico: Riviera Maya, Cancun, Playa Mujeres
No available packages came up from the airport hubs of YYC, YVR, YOW or YQB.
“We are working on finalizing the summer flight schedule to sun destinations in the coming weeks,” spokesperson Melanie Anne Filipp told Open Jaw in an email.
Transat has suspended operations until mid-JUN.