Air Canada has announced it is indefinitely suspending five routes out of Ottawa as it continues to deal with heavy losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a news release Tuesday, Air Canada said that it is indefinitely suspending service on 30 domestic regional routes and closing eight stations at regional airports in Canada.
The following flights to and from Ottawa are suspended:
- Ottawa-London, Ont.;
- Ottawa-Regina; and
In a statement to CTV News, the Ottawa International Airport Authority VP of Communications Krista Kealey said it's another blow to the aiport and to the city.
Air Canada’s news is sad for our community and for the other areas impacted by the loss of this service as a part of AC’s system-wide reductions," Kealey said. "This is yet another devastating blow by the pandemic on our industry."
Kealey added she is hopeful flights will resume soon.
"We are hopeful that once they are operational again, Porter will continue serve Fredericton and Moncton, and that once travel resumes in a meaningful way, Air Canada will look at all of the affected routes again."
The airport used to see between seven and 14 weekly flights on the routes that have now been suspended, according to figures Kealey provided.
In addition, Air Canada is closing its station in Kingston, Ont. and suspending its Kingston-Toronto flights.
In a statement Tuesday, Kingston Airport Manager Aron Winterstein said the airport will await Air Canada's return.
"When the time is right, we will welcome Air Canada back. Acting on the best advice of our public health officials, we are travelling less and staying close to home. These are important steps we need to take during this pandemic. However, we know airlines are feeling these impacts on their bottom line," Winterstein said.
"This context we find ourselves in will end. Kingston will once again become a destination for travellers. We know this, and we also know there is a local appetite for nearby and convenient flights, which we can provide."
Air Canada says affected customers will be contacted and offered options, including alternative routings where available.
"These structural changes to Air Canada's domestic regional network are being made as a result of continuing weak demand for both business and leisure travel due to COVID-19 and provincial and federal government-imposed travel restrictions and border closures, which are diminishing prospects for a near-to-mid-term recovery," the airline said in a press release.
As a result of COVID-19, Air Canada reported a net loss of $1.05 billion in the first quarter of 2020, including a net cash-burn in March of $688 million.