Air Canada To Suspend Transborder Flying

Credit: Rob Finlayson

Air Canada will suspend its limited transborder flying on April 26, citing the extension of coronavirus-related joint travel restrictions put in place by Canada and the U.S., and reduced demand for repatriating Canadians.

The Canadian carrier has reduced its schedule by more than 90% in response to the COVID-19 outbreak that has all but eliminated demand for travel. It had kept limited service operating between its primary hubs in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver and 11 U.S. destinations. But those flights will be removed starting April 27 and will remain off the schedule until at least May 22, the airline said.

Canada and the U.S. adopted strict border restrictions on March 21, including a ban on non-essential travel. On April 18, the governments announced that the restrictions would be extend for at least another 30 days.

The original restrictions prompted most airlines to curtail or eliminate transborder service following a brief period of repatriation flying designed to get citizens back to their home countries. Following the repatriation flights, Air Canada was the only Canadian carrier operating scheduled transborder service, while several U.S. carriers continue to fly a few routes between major U.S. and Canadian gateways.

Sean Broderick

Senior Air Transport & Safety Editor Sean Broderick covers aviation safety, MRO, and the airline business from Aviation Week Network's Washington, D.C. office.