January 7, 2022 By The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — Transat A.T. is cancelling nearly 30 per cent of its winter flights as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on air industry plans and profits.
The tour operator says the ongoing impact of the Omicron variant and the federal government’s Dec. 15 recommendation against non-essential travel abroad have triggered a wave of trip cancellations.
The slimmed-down flight schedule is in place from today through Feb. 25, though Transat says more changes may be necessary.
The Montreal-based company, which did not specify which routes were affected, says customers will be fully refunded and, where possible, offered rebooked reservations as an alternative.
The move comes a week after WestJet Airlines Ltd. cut 15 per cent of its scheduled flights through to the end of January, citing a high proportion of flight crews calling in sick due to Omicron.
The airline sector, which had begun to recover following a devastating first year of the pandemic, is struggling once again amid the COVID-19 surge, with Air Canada cancelling hundreds of flights so far this month and U.S. carriers scrapping thousands.