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Kingston service among those being suspended by Air Canada

Air Canada’s service to Kingston is one of eight stations at regional airports being closed, and among 30 domestic regional routes being suspended indefinitely, announced Air Canada today.

“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,” said Air Canada in a press release.

Air Canada expects the industry’s recovery will take a minimum of three years. 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. It reduced its workforce by approximately 20,000 employees, representing more than 50 per cent of its staff, and permanently removed 79 aircraft from its mainline and Rouge fleets.

The decision comes after the City of Kingston spent over sixteen million dollars on an airport expansion, hoping to attract more air service, and came as a surprise to City officials.

“Earlier today, the City of Kingston learned Air Canada is suspending service to Kingston Airport. Kingston is one of 30 regional airports impacted by this announcement brought on by the financial stress to Air Canada caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 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,” the City said in a press release.

“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,” said Kingston Airport Manager, Aron Winterstein.  

The City says it will now work with other regional airports to discuss short-term solutions and will continue to operate Monday to Friday with daily flights transporting medical patients, freight, private flights and for Canadian Armed Forces.

The following routes will be suspended indefinitely:

Maritimes/Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Deer Lake-Goose Bay; 
  • Deer Lake-St. John’s; 
  • Fredericton-Halifax; 
  • Fredericton-Ottawa; 
  • Moncton-Halifax; 
  • Saint John-Halifax; 
  • Charlottetown-Halifax; 
  • Moncton-Ottawa; 
  • Gander-Goose Bay; 
  • Gander-St. John’s; 
  • Bathurst-Montreal; 
  • Wabush-Goose Bay; 
  • Wabush-Sept-Iles; 
  • Goose Bay-St. John’s.

Quebec/Ontario: 

  • Baie Comeau-Montreal; 
  • Baie Comeau-Mont Joli; 
  • Gaspé-Iles de la Madeleine; 
  • Gaspé-Quebec City; 
  • Sept-Iles-Quebec City; 
  • Val d’Or-Montreal; 
  • Mont Joli-Montreal; 
  • Rouyn-Noranda-Val d’Or; 
  • Kingston-Toronto; 
  • London-Ottawa; 
  • North Bay-Toronto
  • Windsor-Montreal

Western Canada: 

  • Regina-Winnipeg; 
  • Regina-Saskatoon; 
  • Regina-Ottawa; 
  • Saskatoon-Ottawa.

Station Closures

The following are the Regional Airports where Air Canada is closing its stations:

  • Bathurst (New Brunswick) 
  • Wabush (Newfoundland and Labrador) 
  • Gaspé (Quebec) 
  • Baie Comeau (Quebec) 
  • Mont Joli (Quebec) 
  • Val d’Or (Quebec) 
  • Kingston (Ontario) 
  • North Bay (Ontario)
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