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Air Canada cutting more service to Atlantic Canada in January


HALIFAX — Atlantic Canada’s airports say Air Canada has told them that more services will be cut to the region in the new year because of a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

It says Air Canada will be suspending all flights effective Jan. 11 until further notice in Sydney, N.S., and Saint John, N.B., along with all routes in Deer Lake, NL., Charlottetown, Fredericton and Halifax.

The move comes after the country’s largest airline announced in June the indefinite suspensions of 11 routes in Atlantic Canada and the closure of stations in Bathurst, N.B., and Wabush, NL.

In October, WestJet Airlines said it was suspending 80 per cent of its Atlantic Canada capacity.

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Airlines have been cutting service as passenger demand has dwindled, prompting Air Canada to convert several planes to carry freight. The airline industry has been calling for federal support for months.

Derrick Stanford, president of the Atlantic Canada Airports Association and CEO of Saint John Airport, says this third major round of cuts in the last six months is whittling down service to an unsustainable level.

“Our industry cannot survive and operate in these conditions, and we are seeing the worst-case scenario playing out here today,” he said in a news release.

“This will have a huge impact on our region’s economy, on the ability of families to reconnect, on the movement of essential workers, and on airport employees and businesses.”