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COVID-19: WestJet suspends international flights, joins Sunwing repatriating Canadian travellers


March 17, 2020, WestJet and Sunwing help Canada – Both WestJet and Sunwing announced that they will be helping Canadians get back home after the Prime Minister announced the closing of its borders.

Yesterday, Ed Sims, WestJet President and Chief Executive Officer announced that Prime Minister Trudeau’s declaration to all Canadians abroad that it is time to come home, combined with the recommendations to Canadians to control the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, on Sunday, March 22 at 11:59 p.m. MDT, WestJet will suspend scheduled commercial operations for all international and transborder flights for a 30 day period.

“To be clear,” said Sims “this means our final commercially scheduled flights from international and transborder destinations will launch on Sunday night by 11:59 p.m. local time; after that, we will be operating rescue and repatriation flights with our partners. As of tonight, international and transborder tickets are no longer available for sale during this 30 day period.”

On Wednesday, March 18 at 11:59 p.m. MDT, WestJet will suspend all outbound international ticket sales for travel until Sunday, March 22 at 11:59 p.m. MDT, so we are no longer sending Canadians out of the country and can instead focus on bringing them home.

Lower prices for remaining seats into Canada says the Calgary-based air carrier

Sims also said. “To assist Canadians in returning home on short notice, we are in the process of lowering prices on our remaining seats into Canada in all cabins.  

“In addition, we will also reduce our domestic schedule by approximately 50 per cent. At this point, all network changes are in place for the next 30 days.”

Meanwhile, Sunwing announced it is suspending flights from Tuesday March 17 until April 9.

“Our focus is bringing customers home and we have already begun repatriation flights,” Sunwing tweeted out. Full refunds were available for travellers whose flights have been cancelled, Sunwing said.


“WestJetters are known for our level of care and this situation is no different,” said Sims. “While this is a difficult time, we now have the responsibility as a Canadian airline to bring our citizens home.” 

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