WestJet cuts more flights due to Omicron challenges

From City News Vancouver – link to source storyđź”—

A WestJet flight from Calgary arrives at Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Enfield, N.S. on Monday, July 6, 2020.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
A WestJet flight from Calgary arrives at Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Enfield, N.S. on Monday, July 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

By Haley Jarmain | January 18, 2022

Summary

  • WestJet says it will consolidate 20 per cent of its flights in February due to COVID-19 challenges
  • Airline had already announced changes and cancellations for January
  • Staffing challenges and COIVD-19 restrictions have been cited as reasons for flight impacts

If you have upcoming travel plans with WestJet, be aware of potential flight cancellations and changes.

The airline says due to Omicron affecting staffing levels and “the prolonged impact of government barriers on our business,” it will be consolidating 20 per cent of scheduled flights for the month of February.

In a statement, WestJet interim President and CEO Harry Taylor says the company is trying to minimize disruptions for travelers.

“To our guests impacted by these additional consolidations, we sincerely apologize for the disruption and appreciate your continued understanding and patience,” said Taylor.



The Calgary-based company says those who are affected by flight changes and cuts will be notified by email and will have options to rebook or get a refund..

Taylor is also reiterating calls for the federal government to scrap PCR testing requirements to enter Canada.

“We continue to advocate for the elimination of cumbersome travel rules that are unnecessarily impacting Canadians and prolonging the recovery of the travel and tourism sector,” said Taylor. “Canada remains one of the only countries in the world requiring multiple molecular tests for fully-vaccinated travelers — these testing resources should be redeployed to our communities.”

In late December, WestJet said it was being forced to cut 15 per cent of its flights in January due to pandemic challenges.

At the time, the airline said it had seen a 35 per cent increase in active cases among staff