WestJet ending flights from Hamilton to Atlantic Canada, reducing service to Florida

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WestJet is discontinuing several flights out of the Hamilton International Airport.

The airline declined an interview, but spokesperson Madison Kruger told CBC Hamilton the airline will suspend and remove flights to Halifax, N.S., and St. John’s, N.L., as of July 1.

Kruger said winding down flights to the East Coast came down to “performance” and plans to provide eastern Canada “non-stop connectivity” to Calgary.

WestJet also said it would reduce service to Orlando, Fla. It didn’t say why.

But the airline will still offer Hamiltonians year-round service to its global hub in Calgary.

“The decision to remove service is never taken lightly and we understand this is disappointing news for our guests and the community of Hamilton and sincerely apologize for the impact this may have,” Kruger said.

“We have provided our guests with as much advance notice as possible either directly, or through their travel agent. Impacted guests will be provided with a refund to their original form of payment.”

A sign.
Hamilton’s airport had 820,011 passengers in 2023. (@flyyhm/Twitter)

Hamilton resident Joe Marin said he and his family got an email on Sunday night from WestJet saying their August flight to Orlando was cancelled. He said he was instructed to call the airline to get a refund.

“I’m pretty upset,” he said, adding he ended up booking the family’s flights out of Buffalo to avoid chaos at Toronto Pearson Airport.

Airport says it will get through industry ‘volatility’

The Hamilton airport declined an interview, but said in an emailed statement the news was “disappointing.”

“While the Hamilton region has a proven history for affordable passenger travel, it is clear that passenger travel remains volatile, particularly for secondary airports in larger catchments, such as Hamilton International,” the airport said.

“The airport has effectively managed volatility in its business for more than 20 years and will continue to do so well into the future.

It’s unclear what impact WestJet’s move will have on the airport, but the move comes during the airport’s advertised spring and summer programming, which had included the WestJet flights.

WestJet Group has had flights out of Hamilton for 23 years, according to the airport’s 2023 annual report.

The airport said 2023 passenger traffic almost hit pre-pandemic levels with 820,011 passengers.

The airport previously used to have flights from discount airlines Lynx Air, Swoop and Sunwing. WestJet took over Swoop and Sunwing in 2023.

The airport said passengers can still get to other parts of Canada through WestJet’s Calgary hub or through Air Canada’s global network through a motor coach service.

People can also go to Iceland, which connects to other European destinations, through PLAY airlines.



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