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  • Air Canada to halt all remaining U.S. flights effective April 26

    MONTREAL — Air Canada’s last flights between Canada and the U.S. will operate April 26 now that the two countries have agreed to extend the border closing for at least another 30 days. Air Canada says its U.S. flights could resume May 22, but notes that date is subject to any further government restrictions in an ever-evolving situation. Air Canada had already vastly reduced its route network, to the U.S. and also internationally amid border closures and travel restrictions due…

  • WestJet removing 4,000 flights weekly from its domestic schedule

    CALGARY — As the coronavirus crisis continues to ravage the airline industry, WestJet has released new details about its domestic flight schedule, announcing it will remove some 4,000 flights weekly, or 600 flights daily, from May 5 through June 4. WestJet says some city pairings have been temporarily removed in the new schedule. However the airline says it will continue to serve the 38 Canadian airports to which it currently operates, making sure that passengers with essential travel requirements can…

  • WestJet to lay off 3,000 more employees as demand for service craters

    The airline said it is currently seeing less than five per cent of its ‘pre-COVID-19 guest loads’ Calgary-based WestJet says a further 3,000 of its workers will be laid off in early May as demand for flights craters amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Ed Sims, the company’s president and CEO, said the airline is currently seeing less than five per cent the number of passengers it was seeing before the coronavirus pandemic hit. “The reality of this crisis continues to require WestJet…

  • ‘It’s bad’: COVID-19 pandemic hits Ottawa-Gatineau hotel sector

    OTTAWA — Hotels that remain open in Ottawa and across Canada are operating at five per cent capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s bad,” said Steve Ball, president of the Ottawa-Gatineau Hotel Association, during an interview with News Talk 580 CFRA’s “Ottawa at Work with Leslie Roberts.” “Hotels, not just in Ottawa but across the country, are operating under five per cent for the most part. When you close borders and you eliminate travel, obviously your hotel sector is going…

  • COVID-19 Hits Travel Search Hard

    In a newly released study, trends data provider, SEMrush has analyzed the impact of COVID-19 on online behaviour to reveal that travel sectors and travel companies have been hit the hardest. According to SEMrush data, Google search volumes for the major global airlines fell significantly between January and March 2020 as the outbreak spread and flights were grounded. Branded searches within the overall industry average declined 16.2% from January to February, followed by an additional decrease of 6.7% between February…

  • Air Canada Preparing for Relaunch, But Many Questions Remain

    Canada’s largest airline is carefully plotting what a return to travel may look like. But it’s far from easy. Lisa Pierce, Managing Director, Canada and USA Sales for Air Canada, took part in a TravelPulse Canada 1 on 1 Facebook Live Chat on Tuesday and talked about the difficulties of running an international airline in such a turbulent time, as well as chargeback, travel vouchers and the travel trade in general. “We absolutely have to look to the future,” she told TravelPulse…

  • Porter Using Federal Program to Rehire Hundreds

    There’s good news for Porter Airlines employees. The airline on Friday said it intends to access the federal government’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) to return hundreds of its team members to payroll. The airline temporarily suspended all flights on March 21, to support the public health response to COVID-19, and as travel restrictions and personal movement limitations were increasing. The majority of Porter’s 1,500 team members received temporary layoff notices at that time, with a small group maintaining business…

  • Transat recalls 4,000 employees with payroll assistance from CEWS

    MONTREAL — Transat is bringing some 4,000 of its employees back on payroll and will use the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) to help make ends meet during these challenging times. Like airlines around the world, Transat has had to ground flights and temporarily lay off staff during the coronavirus pandemic. Airlines including Air Canada have also rehired employees to take advantage of financial assistance through CEWS. On March 23, Transat announced the temporary layoff of 70% of its staff when it was forced…

  • Marriott sees sharp fall in global RevPAR as travel slows

    Marriott International has said it expects RevPAR across its hotels to fall by 23 per cent during the first quarter of the year in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak. In America, the figure is expected to be 20 per cent, though the hospitality giant warned the data was still being finalised. While there have been early signs of improving demand trends in Greater China, the negative trends in the rest of the world have not yet stabilised, Marriott added.…

  • WestJet to hire back 6,400 laid-off workers

    TORONTO — WestJet is following Air Canada’s lead and hiring back thousands of laid-off workers now that the government has agreed to pay the majority of their wages. In a video posted to social media late Wednesday night, WestJet president and CEO said nearly 6,400 employees will be brought back onto the company’s payroll – although most of them will not be asked to perform any operational duties. “There will simply not be enough work there for them, but it…

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