More N.B. flights cut: WestJet cancels Moncton-Toronto flights starting in May
Air travellers in New Brunswick will soon have one less option for flights.
Starting May 1, WestJet will stop running its Moncton-to-Toronto route.
In an email to CBC News, WestJet spokesperson Madison Kruger said the cut is part of the company's "new strategic direction" focused on having more direct flights from the East Coast to western Canada.
"WestJet remains committed to serving Moncton … this summer, WestJet will commence new non-stop service from Moncton to both Calgary and Edmonton," said Kruger.
Gabor Lukacs, president of Air Passenger Rights, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating passengers and holding airlines to account, said passengers booked on now-cancelled flights are owed some level of support.
"A cancellation is a cancellation regardless of how much advance notice the airline may have provided," said Lukacs.
"The airline is required to provide passengers with alternate transportation and that includes rebooking them on flights of competitor airlines."
Lukacs said airlines can also offer a full refund to customers, but it is the customer's choice whether they want to have a refund or a new ticket on a competing airline. An airline can't force a refund.
Kruger said WestJet has already started reaching out to customers who are affected by the cuts.
"Impacted guests will be provided with the option of arranging alternative travel arrangements or a refund to their original form of payment," said Kruger.
This is just the latest in a string of cuts by multiple airlines to airports in the province.
In January, Sunwing cancelled flights to two tropical vacation spots — Moncton to Varadero, Cuba and Fredericton to Cayo Coco, Cuba.
In November, WestJet suspended winter service to the Fredericton airport.
Last July, Air Canada reduced the number of flights to Montreal for two New Brunswick airports — dropping from 93 flights to 65 for Moncton, and from 31 to 18 for Bathurst.
Lukacs said multiple cancellations are having a toll on the security travellers feel when booking flights.
"The Canadian airlines, and especially WestJet, seem to be cutting the tree under themselves," said Lukacs.
"It causes incredible harm to the public's confidence in the industry and it is going to have a long-term effect on the entire travel industry. It is profoundly concerning."