WestJet to temporarily suspend all international and transborder flights

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In response to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's strong recommendation that all Canadians abroad return home immediately, WestJet has announced that it will suspend scheduled commercial operations for all international and transborder flights for a 30-day period. 

In a March 16 statement, the company said this means its final commercially scheduled flights from international and transborder destinations will launch on Sunday (March 22) night by 11:59 p.m. After that, it will be operating rescue and repatriation flights with its partners. 

International and transborder tickets are no longer available for sale during this 30 day period.

On Wednesday, March 18, WestJet will suspend all outbound international ticket sales for travel until Sunday, March 22 at 11:59 p.m. MDT.

"We are no longer sending Canadians out of the country and can instead focus on bringing them home," the company said in a statement. 

"To assist Canadians in returning home on short notice, we are in the process of lowering prices on our remaining seats into Canada in all cabins. In addition, we will also reduce our domestic schedule by approximately 50 per cent. At this point, all network changes are in place for the next 30 days."

The news comes after the airline announced that passengers might have been exposed to COVID-19 on recent flights that landed at Pearson Airport.   

In a statement, WestJet says it has been advised by the Public Health Agency of Canada that a guest who flew on March 12 on WestJet Flight 665 (WS665) from Toronto Pearson International Airport to the Calgary International Airport has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Passengers in the affected rows of WS665 (rows 19-27) are considered close contacts and may be at risk of exposure. Public health officials recommend that affected individuals self-isolate for 14 days after arrival in Calgary and monitor symptoms. If symptoms occur, they are advised to use AHS's online COVID-19 self-assessment tool to help determine whether they should be tested for COVID-19.  

Other guests should self-monitor for 14 days after arrival in Calgary as a precaution.  

WestJet also says that a guest who flew on March 12 on WestJet Flight 1201 (WS1201) from LaGuardia Airport to Pearson has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Passengers who were seated in rows 3-9 are directed to self-isolate and to contact Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000, their primary care provider, or their local public health unit if they are concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. 

Guests on flight 1201 are also being advised to self-monitor for signs of cough, fever or respiratory issues and to call their local health authorities if symptoms arise within the next 14 days.   

WestJet says a guest who flew on March 11 on WestJet flight 1157 from Luis Munoz Marin International Airport to Pearson has tested positive for COVID-19. Passengers who were seated in rows 2-6  are directed to self-isolate and to contact Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000, their primary care provider, or their local public health unit if they are concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. 

Other passengers are also being advised to self-monitor.

WestJet says that a guest who flew London Gatwick to Toronto on WestJet flight 4 on March 11, 2020, has tested positive for COVID-19. Passengers who were seated in rows 10-16 are directed to self-isolate and to contact Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000, their primary care provider, or their local public health unit if they are concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. 

All other passengers are asked to self-monitor. 

WestJet says two guests who flew from Phoenix to Toronto on February 28 on WestJet flight 1199 have tested positive for COVID-19. Passengers who were seated in rows 18-22 of WestJet flight 1199 are directed to self-isolate and call Peel Public Health immediately at 905-799-7700 (or at 905-584-2216 if in Caledon). Other passengers should self-monitor.

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