Air Canada cuts five Ottawa routes as it pares national network

Air Canada Express
Photo for illustrative purposes only. (Photo by Ethan McArthur on Unsplash)

The country’s largest airline is “indefinitely suspending” five routes connecting Ottawa with other Canadian cities as part of a wave of cuts to its regional network that the carrier said is necessary due to lingering weak demand.

Air Canada said Tuesday it is cutting 30 routes, including:

  • London-Ottawa
  • Regina-Ottawa
  • Saskatoon-Ottawa
  • Moncton-Ottawa
  • Fredericton-Ottawa

The cancellations come a day after Porter Airlines said it would keep its planes grounded until the end of August.

Air Canada is the largest airline serving the Ottawa International Airport, which had hoped to see an uptick in domestic flights this summer as part of the aviation industry’s recovery.

The airline said additional changes to its network and schedule, as well as further service suspensions, would be considered in the coming weeks as it works to cut costs and preserve cash.

The airline announced earlier this year that it would lay off about 20,000 workers ​– or more than half of its staff ​– as part of its plan to cut costs.

Air Canada says system-wide capacity is down about 85 per cent in the second quarter compared with the same quarter last year and expects capacity in the third quarter to be down 75 per cent compared with the third quarter of 2019.

– With files from the Canadian Press