Air Canada announces suspension of flights
Air Canada, on January 29th, 2021 in a news release announced that it was temporarily suspending flights to Mexican and Caribbean destinations for 90 days in response to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, particularly during the Spring Break period.
The decision, the release added, was designed to achieve an orderly reduction in service and minimize customer impact, and was taken in collaboration with the Government of Canada following consultations. Air Canada agreed to suspend operations to the following 15 destinations, beginning on Sunday, January 31st until Friday, April 30th (Nassau, Cayo Coco, Cancun, Liberia, Montego Bay, Punta Cana, Varadero, Puerto Vallarta, Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Kingston, Mexico City, Providenciales, and San Jose).
To help ensure Canadians were not stranded abroad, Air Canada stated plans to operate a number of one-way commercial flights from affected destinations after January 31st in order to return customers at the suspended destinations to Canada. Affected customers, said the statement, would be offered full refunds given the services were being suspended with no alternative available.
Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs latest update on new Canadian measures
On Monday, February 1st, 2021 the Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) released an update to the general public regarding the latest measures taken by the Government of Canada to combat the spread of COVID 19 in Canada, and the possible impact on Bahamians.
The statement read: “In recent days the Canadian Government announced a number of new strict measures to prevent the further introduction of COVID 19 throughout Canada. Among the new measures are the following which could have direct implications for Bahamians:
Suspension of all flights to and from Mexico and Caribbean countries:
Based on an agreement with Canada’s airlines and the Government, effective January 31, 2021 and until April 30, 2021 all flights to and from Mexico and the Caribbean are suspended.
Private Passenger Flights/International Charter Passenger Flights:
Effective midnight (11:59 PM EST) February 3, 2021 and until further notice, the restrictions made under the Aeronautics Act which were implemented since March 2020 will be expanded to include certain special flights to Canada. These flights will now be required to land at one of four Canadian airports. The airports are Montreal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport. The category of flights is as follows:
– Scheduled commercial passenger flights from the United States, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America;
– International business / private passenger flights from all countries; and
– International charter passenger flights from all countries.
Flights from Saint-Pierre-et Miquelon and cargo-only international flights will still be exempt from this new requirement.
Implications for Citizens, Permanent Residents, Students, Diplomats:
In an ongoing effort to discourage all forms of non- essential travel, arriving passengers into Canada will be required to do the following:
– provide proof of a negative pre-departure COVID 19 test.
– take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival at their own cost;
– reserve a room in a Government of Canada-approved hotel for three nights at their own cost while they await their test results; stay in and pay for hotel room, as well as all associated costs for food, cleaning and security, while awaiting the results of the COVID-19 molecular test taken upon arrival.
These costs are estimated at $2000 per person. Further details may be obtained by visiting the following website:
The MFA, via The Bahamas High Commission in Canada, will continue to monitor developments and keep the public informed as necessary.”