WestJet's First Eastern Canada Route Suspensions as Part of New Strategic Direction

Calgary-based WestJet has announced it’s pulling winter service from a number of destinations in Eastern Canada beginning in NOV.

Winter service to Charlottetown, PEI, Fredericton, NB, Sydney, NS, and Quebec City is being suspended as of 15NOV by the airline. Service until that time remains unaffected.

Any guests with booked flights who will be affected by the service changes will be notified either directly or through their travel agent, and the company says it will attempt to re-book guests with alternative arrangements.

"Solidify our airline"

While the routes and the date have just been named, the move comes as no surprise.

In JUN, Open Jaw reported on new WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech’s new strategy for the airline’s recovery after his first '100 days’ leading the company.

At that time, he revealed that WestJet would change focus on becoming a Western Canada airline, with more routes and connections in that region. He admitted that would mean shrinking the airline's presence in Eastern Canada, particularly regional routes. In addition, through its pending acquisition of Sunwing, WestJet would expand its investment in sun and leisure markets.

In making this week’s announcement about the service cuts to four Eastern Canada routes, WestJet pointed to that essential recovery strategy, saying in its statement that the changes come “as WestJet begins to strategically transition flying in Eastern Canada to focus on sun and leisure destinations as well as enhanced connections to Western Canada.”

“We understand this is disappointing news and we apologize for any disruption this will cause our guests and communities,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “We are undertaking these strategic changes in a responsible manner and it was critical to give our guests and the communities as much advance notice as possible.”

He added, “By making these difficult decisions now, it will ensure we can offer more of what our guests expect from WestJet and solidify our airline as the most reliable and affordable airline for many years to come.”

Weatherill continued, “As a national airline, we will continue to engage with these communities and stakeholders as we look to enhance service to Eastern and Atlantic Canada through direct connections to Western Canada, sun and leisure destinations.”

WestJet says its full winter 2022/2023 schedule will be released in AUG, and that it will reveal “significant sun and leisure flying investments for Eastern Canada along with capacity enhancements nationwide.”

Lynn Elmhirst


With a background in broadcast news and travel lifestyles TV production, Lynn is just as comfortable behind or in front of the camera as she is slinging words into compelling stories at her laptop. Having been called a multi-media ‘content charmer’, Lynn’s other claim to fame is the ability to work 24/7, forgoing sleep until the job is done. Documented proof exists in a picture of Lynn at the closing celebrations of an intense week, standing, champagne in hand - sound asleep. That’s our kind of gal.

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