Canadian ultra low-cost carrier Swoop says it will drop all international flights as of Sunday until the end of May as the COVID-19 pandemic hits the low-cost end of the airline market. Domestic service will remain “as is” for the time being.
“These are extraordinary times, and we want to be sure our Swoop travellers are safe at home in Canada,” says Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial, Swoop.
The airline has maintained flights to sun destinations in the southern United States, the Caribbean, and Mexico, despite growing prohibitions against foreign travel. That will end Sunday when the airline will instead focus on getting 2,349 Canadians on holiday back home. Swoop will operate 15 special flights to make it happen.
Swoop joins parent company Westjet in abandoning service to the United States, the Caribbean, and Mexico, though at this point, Swoop’s suspension is scheduled to last longer.
The carrier said affected passengers would be contacted by e-mail.
“As a result of how quickly the COVID-19 outbreak is changing demand for international air travel, we are in constant communication with our travellers through our various channels. We apologize for longer than average response times as we work through these changes,” said van der Stege.
Swoop joins charter carriers Sunwing and Transat suspending service to holiday destinations. Unlike Sunwing, which is offering free seats to stranded Canadians, Swoop said it “prides itself on making all seats available at fair fares to support Canadians through these unsettling times.”
Below: Swoop international routes in the winter of 2019-2020
Swoop, unlike Westjet, which will cut domestic capacity by 50%, and Air Canada, which announced it would cut service to 22 domestic destinations during the month of April, has decided to maintain its schedule within the country.