Ahead of the release of its summer schedule in the coming weeks, WestJet announced 30JAN that it has "temporarily suspended transatlantic service between Halifax and Europe as part of its 2023 summer schedule."
In a statement, the airline explains "while these routes have not been available for sale, the airline is prioritizing providing guests with as much advance notice as possible and giving firm clarity on routes that have been in question."
Calling the move part of the airline's "strategic decision to suspend transatlantic flying from select Canadian cities as it continues to responsibly manage and recover its network," it also comes after the airline announced in 2022 a focus on Western Canada, especially service from WestJet's Calgary hub.
However, according to the airline, the service cancellation may not be permanent.
WestJet's statement says it "remains committed to engaging with local stakeholders and community members to evaluate the return of transatlantic service in 2024."
The statement added, "WestJet’s focus remains on positioning its network to meet the travel demands of Canadians, while strengthening its footprint across Eastern Canada through sun and leisure travel which will be bolstered by its recent acquisition announcement of 42 additional Boeing MAX aircraft."
“Halifax remains an integral part of our network and we understand this is disappointing news for our guests and the local community,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Group Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer. “As we continue to responsibly balance our schedule alongside operational requirements, capacity constraints and the deployment of our aircraft across Canada, we are making these difficult decisions now to enable us to re-position our investments to best serve the province for years to come.”
Despite the suspension of transatlantic service, WestJet says it expects to "enhanc(e) domestic offerings from coast-to-coast, inclusive of increased service between Halifax and Western Canada."