As WestJet continues to navigate ongoing uncertainty and barriers facing travel, the airline is announcing a further extension of its planned schedule consolidations through to March 31, 2022.
“For two years, WestJet has gone above and beyond to keep our guests safe throughout their travel journey,” said Harry Taylor, Interim President & CEO, The WestJet Group. “Travel advisories, restrictions and testing requirements were meant to be temporary, yet our industry has now reached an impasse that is severely impacting the recovery of our airline and sector. The time is now to present a path forward that is in line with our global counterparts, reflective of current data and once again makes travel accessible and affordable for Canadians.”
With duplicative PCR testing required for asymptomatic fully vaccinated travellers, air travel continues to be the most tested, yet most restricted consumer activity in Canada. WestJet continues to advocate for the need to return to surveillance arrivals testing only and the elimination of quarantine and isolation for travellers awaiting their results after returning to Canada. The airline is also calling on the federal government to outline a roadmap for the recovery of the travel and tourism industry that is based on science and reflective of the current realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Canada remains the only country among the G7 nations to still require mandatory pre-departure and on-arrival PCR testing,” continued Taylor. “Countries across the globe are recognizing the importance of travel and tourism on economic recovery and we are witnessing them take measures to safely re-open their borders and make sensible adjustments to overall travel guidance and testing requirements. It is disappointing that Canada remains stagnant in its approach and continues to make travel inaccessible and punitive for Canadians and inbound tourists.”
In line with previously announced schedule reductions, impacted travellers will be proactively notified of changes to their itineraries by email. Guests are encouraged to utilize self-serve options before calling for assistance; guests seeking support outside of the 72-hour travel window are able to schedule a call-back. Flexible change and cancel guidelines and schedule change refund policies remain in place.