WestJet adds extra international flights to get Canadians home amid coronavirus restrictions

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WATCH: WestJet has halted all commercial, international and transborder flights amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Jill Croteau has more. – Mar 17, 2020

WestJet has added a number of additional flights between international and trans-border destinations over the next two days as it works to get Canadians back home as the country is restricting travel because of COVID-19.

As of Sunday, WestJet won’t be flying people out of Canada, the company said.

READ MORE: Coronavirus pandemic: WestJet suspending international travel

The following flights — scheduled between Mexico, Puerto Vallarta, Playa de Oro and Gatwick — for Thursday and one for Friday have seats open, WestJet said Wednesday:

Travellers can book seats at the basic economy price online at

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WestJet said the flight situation is “rapidly changing” and the airline is making decisions based on advice and announcements from various governments, organizations and agencies.

“It takes time to understand all of the details included in each announcement,” WestJet said. “We are working as quickly a possible to share additional information on our plans.”

Guests are being told to regularly check the status of their flights before heading to the airport.

READ MORE: WestJet says some recent passengers may have been exposed to coronavirus

On Wednesday, WestJet said 165 flights were cancelled.

The cancellation tally for Thursday was 232.

“Our flexible change/cancel has been updated to permit $0 change/change to occur up to two hours before departure,” the airline said, adding that fee waiver applies to flights between March and April 30.

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WestJet said it’s adhering to the recent international travel restrictions implemented by the federal government and said teams are following the guidelines.

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Reducing employees

The airline said it has “no alternative but to reduce the number of employees” as it stickhandles the situation.

“Effective today (March 18), we provide official communication information on voluntary leave options for WestJetters among other voluntary measures.

READ MORE: Canada, U.S. to temporarily close border to non-essential traffic over coronavirus

WestJet said it was doing so in consultation with the union and employee association leaders.

WestJet announced earlier this week it was suspending its international flights as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and shifting its focus to getting people abroad back to Canada.

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