Air Canada to suspend all Prince Rupert flights as part of cutbacks

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Air Canada has announced they will be suspending all flights to Prince Rupert after January 23rd, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to lower demand for air travel in Canada.

This measure comes as Air Canada attempts to cut approximately twenty-five per cent of its current capacity in the first quarter of 2021. This will bring the airline's capacity to only about twenty per cent of its operations during the same period in 2019. 

Their cuts include reducing their workforce by 17-hundred employees, cancelling over three-dozen flight routes and suspending all flights to six cities including Prince Rupert and Kamloops.

Air Canada flights in and out of Prince Rupert as well as Smithers were suspended for several months last year due to a drop off in demand during the pandemic as well.

Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain said the city was disappointed in Air Canada's decision. 

"Prince Rupert is the third-largest port in Canada. We're growing significantly. Our next airport nearest to us is Terrace -- in the wintertime, it's a detrimental highway. At this point, we believe the demand is here now for flights. We would like obviously for Air Canada to reconsider, but they've made a decision. So we're gonna be reaching out to other airlines to see if we can fill in the gaps. 

"We understand what their position is, and they're saying they're not getting the supports from the federal government. But at this juncture, Prince Rupert is growing and moving forward and our community needs to have access to air travel."

Air Canada says any passengers affected by the cancelations will be contacted and offered travel options including refunds and alternative routings where applicable.