Swoop, at the end of its operating day on Sunday, March 22, is suspending all international and transborder flights to help with the global efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19. The airline currently projects this suspension will be in place until May 31, 2020.
The Calgary-based airline is now refocusing its international operations to bring home 2,349 Swoop travellers who are currently outside of Canada.
“These are extraordinary times, and we want to be sure our Swoop travellers are safe at home in Canada,” said Bert van der Stege, who took on the role of head of commercial operations for Swoop in late February. With more than 20 years of international aviation experience, van der Stege most recently served as vice president and chief commercial officer at the Halifax International Airport Authority.
“Our priority is to bring Canadian travellers home, ensuring the safety of our travellers, crew and aircraft,” added van der Stege. “We have put these suspensions and subsequent repatriation efforts in place to continue to deliver on that.”
Beginning on Monday, March 23, Swoop plans to operate extra flights to repatriate the 2,349 Canadians abroad. This effort will include a total of 15 flights operating over three days. van der Stege explains the airline is in constant communication with its travellers given how quickly the COVID-19 outbreak is changing demand for international air travel.
Swoop, part of the WestJet Group of companies, operates a fleet of nine Boeing 737-800 aircraft and provides point-to-point scheduled service to 17 destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean.