MONTREAL- Flag carrier Air Canada (AC) is making significant adjustments to its route offerings from Calgary Airport (YYC) for the upcoming winter season, primarily attributed to a shortage of pilots across the aviation industry.
In an announcement on Wednesday, the airline confirmed that it will discontinue direct flights between Calgary and several major destinations: Ottawa, Halifax, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Cancun, and Frankfurt, effective by the end of October.
Air Canada Cuts Calgary Routes
Air Canada’s spokesperson, Peter Fitzpatrick, explained that these route cancellations are aimed at enhancing the overall operational reliability of the airline.
He mentioned that the ongoing shortage of regional pilots within the industry will continue to affect Air Canada’s regional network for a prolonged period.
This circumstance has led to resource constraints, forcing Air Canada to deploy mainline aircraft on routes that its primary regional partner typically services.
He further explained that the airline, headquartered in Montreal, is confronting challenges in its supply chain, leading to difficulties in procuring necessary parts and conducting timely aircraft maintenance.
“This situation has prompted a thorough examination of our network schedule to ensure the most effective and efficient allocation of resources, considering the current and persistent challenges faced by the industry,” Fitzpatrick added.
Still 10,000 Weekly Seats
Air Canada emphasized its unwavering commitment to Calgary and the broader western Canadian market, affirming its plan to provide close to 10,000 weekly seats departing from Calgary during the upcoming winter season.
However, this decision occurs amidst a competitive landscape where both Air Canada and its primary rival, WestJet, based in Calgary, are vying for market share as the aviation sector grapples with the ongoing repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
WestJet unveiled a new strategy in the previous year, focusing much of its future expansion in Western Canada. This approach led to the removal of several routes within the Ottawa-Toronto-Montreal triangle.
Air Canada has emphasized its Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver markets, which has resulted in the discontinuation of various regional routes in Western Canada, including direct connections to larger Western Canadian cities like Regina and Saskatoon.
Starting in August, Air Canada has taken steps to decrease its originally projected winter flight schedules by 4.6 per cent across its entire network, along with a two per cent reduction in the planned seat capacity for the winter season.
Stay tuned with us. Further, follow us on social media for the latest updates.