WestJet (WS, Calgary) has announced that it would terminate services to four cities in eastern Canada as of November 2, while also substantially reducing frequencies to its two remaining destinations in the region, Halifax and St. John's.

"It has become increasingly unviable to serve these markets. Since the pandemic's beginning, we have worked to keep essential air service to all of our domestic airports, however, demand for travel is being severely limited by restrictive policies and third-party fee increases that have left us out of runway without sector-specific support," Chief Executive and President Ed Sims said.

The carrier will indefinitely suspend all services to Moncton, Fredericton, Sydney, NS, and Charlottetown, PE. It currently operates to the first two cities 3x weekly each from Toronto Pearson (with flights operated by WestJet Encore with DHC-8-Q400s), to Sydney - 2x weekly from Halifax (also operated by WestJet Encore), and to Charlottetown - 2x weekly from Toronto but using in-house B737-800s. All of these frequencies are already severely reduced compared to the pre-COVID schedule.

The cuts will result in an 80% year-on-year reduction in the capacity in the Atlantic region. The airline will retain services from Halifax to Toronto, St. John's, and Calgary, albeit with reduced frequencies. Services from Halifax to Ottawa Int'l and from St. John's to Toronto will also be suspended.

WestJet underlined that the planned cuts mark the first route reductions from its domestic network compared to the pre-COVID network.

The four airports affected by the suspensions will continue to see Air Canada (AC, Montréal Trudeau) services.