Air Canada suspends flights to six destinations
According to Air Canada’s announcement, the company will suspend non-stop flights between Calgary and six destinations:
- Los Angeles
These changes will take effect from October 30, 2023.
This will impact all traveller profiles: business and frequent flyers (Frankfurt), leisure flights (Cancun, Honolulu, Los Angeles) and even major domestic flights (Ottawa, Halifax).
From October 30, 2023, travellers to these destinations must add a connection in Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal.
What will remain
New York Newark (EWR) and London Heathrow (LHR) are the only destinations maintained outside Canada. On the latter, Air Canada will still offer almost 10,000 seats a week. It’s a safe bet that Air Canada will maintain service to London Heathrow from Calgary to avoid losing valuable flight slots at the London hub.
However, withdrawing these six destinations remains a significant issue for Air Canada travellers departing from Calgary.
Here is the status of Air Canada flights from Calgary on Flight Connections BEFORE the withdrawal of these services:
And a simulation via Great Circle Mapper AFTER the removal of these services:
Reasons for suspension
Fleet constraints and pilot shortage
First of all, the airline mentioned that its fleet remains lower than it was in 2019, i.e. before the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is also facing a shortage of pilots, which has impacted its regional network.
Concentration on major hubs
Competition with WestJet
In Calgary’s competitive market, Air Canada’s decision can also be seen as a way of defending itself against increased competition. As the airline withdraws flights from Calgary, it will be interesting to see how WestJet, Canada’s other major airline – with its main hub in Calgary – reacts to this move.
Here are the flights currently available with WestJet from Calgary:
Air Canada’s decision to suspend service to Cancun, Ottawa, Halifax, Frankfurt, Honolulu and Los Angeles from Calgary as of October 30, 2023, will turn travel plans upside down for Calgary residents and frequent flyers.
If you have flights to these destinations, Air Canada will offer you a schedule change (which you may or may not accept).