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Thu, 19 March 2020

Air Canada to Reduce International Network from 101 Airports to 6

Air Canada is gradually suspending the majority of its international and U.S. transborder flights by 31 March 2020, in response to decisions by national governments, including Canada and the United States, to close borders and restrict commercial aviation as a result of the COVID19 outbreak.

Subject to further government restrictions, the airline intends to continue to serve a small number of international and U.S. trans-border destinations from select Canadian cities after 1 April 2020. The airline also intends to continue serving all provinces and territories of Canada after that date, albeit with a significantly reduced network.

Air Canada Boeing 787-8 reg: C-FRTU at London Heathrow. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

International and U.S. Transborder Services

In order to facilitate the continued repatriation of citizens to their home countries, including Canadians back to Canada, and to support the essential movement of needed goods and cargo during the crisis, Air Canada intends to continue to operate a limited number of international "air bridges" between one or more of its Canadian hubs and the cities of London, Paris, Frankfurt, Delhi, Tokyo and Hong Kong from 1 April until at least 30 April 2020. This will reduce its international network from 101 airports to six.

From 1 April, Air Canada will reduce its transborder network from 53 airports to 13, subject to further reductions based on demand or government edicts. The cities with continued service will be: New York (LGA and EWR), Boston, Washington, D.C. (IAD and DCA), Chicago, Houston, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale.

Domestic Canada

Air Canada intends to continue to serve all provinces and territories of Canada, reducing its domestic network from 62 airports to 40 through a reduced network during the period 1 to 30 April, subject to further reductions based on demand or government edict.

"The restrictions on travel imposed by governments worldwide, while understandable, are nonetheless having a cataclysmic effect upon the global airline industry," said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive of Air Canada. "Our immediate focus is on ensuring the safety and well-being of our employees, customers and communities. At the same time, we are exploring with the Government of Canada possibilities to maintain essential operations to enable as many Canadians as possible to return to Canada, and to support other vital transport needs, including the shipment of goods and cargo during the crisis as required in any state of emergency. We are working around the clock to deal with the impact for our customers and our business of the various travel restrictions that are being made by governments at unprecedented speed without advance warning. We will also look at helping Canadians to return home by operating a limited number of charters from international destinations and exploring with the Government of Canada avenues in this regard. We will provide updates as details are finalized."

The airline will gradually suspend some of its scheduled flights between now and 31 March as demand for Canadians to return to Canada from a number of destinations reduces. Please check Air Canada's website for details given the rapidly evolving situation.

Affected customers, including those with Air Canada Vacations packages, whose flights are cancelled will receive a full credit valid for 24 months. There is no requirement to contact Air Canada as customers will be contacted directly.

The airline has also put in place temporary, one-way fares to Canada to enable customers abroad to return home. Customers seeking to contact Air Canada are advised that contact centre wait times are elevated, so the airline has put in place a number of self-service tools to enable customers to manage their travel online.

See latest Travel News, Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: Air Canada, Canada.

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