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Air Canada axes sole flight due to coronavirus slump

Flights suspended: An Air Canada jet in flight (File photograph)

Air Canada is to ground its flights to Bermuda for more than a month.

The airline said its Toronto to Bermuda service would be suspended after its January 8 flight until February 12 because of a massive slump in business caused by the coronavirus.

A spokeswoman for Air Canada said: “Air Canada currently operates one flight weekly to Bermuda from Toronto.

“Reflecting current market conditions, this flight will be temporarily suspended …”

The spokeswoman clarified today: “The last flight will operate January 8, 2021 before the resumption of service in February.”

WestJet, also Canadian, confirmed that its suspension of many international flights, including the service from Toronto to Bermuda, would remain in force.

A spokeswoman for the airline said: “The Covid-19 crisis hit WestJet and the global aviation industry with devastating force.

“Since the beginning of March, guest traffic has dropped significantly – we are operating at approximately a 75 per cent reduction year over year and have been forced to suspend the vast majority of our flying due to the pandemic.”

But she insisted: “We remain committed to service to Bermuda from Toronto and it is our intent to resume operations as soon as it becomes economically viable to do so.”

The Bermuda Tourism Authority said yesterday it would adjust its marketing and communications plans in the Toronto market to take account of the change.

Glenn Jones, the authority’s interim chief executive, said: “In the BTA’s regular updates with stakeholders about airlift, we are always careful to point out the fluidity of airline schedules in the current environment.

“Changes are frequent. In an early December update, we highlighted Air Canada’s reduction in service from once weekly to none for a period of about four weeks.

“Since becoming aware of this development, the BTA has made the necessary first quarter adjustments to marketing and communications plans in the Toronto market.”

A spokeswoman for British Airways said it was sorry it was operating a reduced service.

She added: “Our focus is on keeping crucial air links open where possible – bringing home customers currently abroad and transporting vital goods, and ensuring people who are permitted to travel can continue to do so safely.”

The BA spokeswoman said the airline would contact customers on cancelled flights to offer refunds.

She added flights could be rescheduled at ba.com and customers could also request a voucher for future travel “if their flight continues to operate”.

The spokeswoman said customers should check the latest UK Government travel advice at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

She added latest BA flight information was at ba.com.

American Airlines, JetBlue, Delta and United Airlines did not respond to questions on whether they planned to cut flights to the island.

Airport operators Skyport did not respond to a request for comment.

UPDATE: This story has been updated to clarify information from Air Canada that the January 8 flight will run.

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Published December 30, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated December 30, 2020 at 11:38 am)

Air Canada axes sole flight due to coronavirus slump

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