- WestJet is temporarily suspending service between Toronto and Montreal for the winter to focus on expanding its presence in Western Canada.
- The decision to suspend the route came after a strategic review and aligns with WestJet’s plan to increase non-stop connectivity to Western Canada.
- Other airlines, such as Air Canada, Porter Airlines, and Air Transat, still offer service between Toronto and Montreal, with Air Canada having the largest market share.
Canadian airline WestJet is temporarily suspending service between Montreal and Toronto this winter as it plans to focus on connectivity to Western Canada.
Focusing on Western Canada for the winter
The airline industry is already in the winter season, and airlines are shifting schedules, reducing operations in some places and increasing them in others. Yesterday, it was reported that Canadian carrier WestJet would suspend its operations between Toronto and Montreal for the winter. The decision came after a strategic review in which the airline decided to focus on Western Canada.
In April, WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech stated WestJet would grow in the East, focusing on travel to Western Canada. Now, the airline is doing just that. Even before suspending service between the two cities, WestJet had significantly reduced its operations, which were below pre-pandemic levels. Still, suspension of service between Montreal and Toronto is only temporary and will resume in April 2024.
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WestJet provided Simple Flying with the following statement when asked about the reported changes,
“This route was suspended as a result of performance and in alignment with our strategic direction to expand our presence in Eastern Canada this winter with increased non-stop connectivity to Western Canada, as well as providing more affordable leisure and sun travel opportunities across Canada.”
According to Cirium data, WestJet has 28 flights scheduled in each direction between Montreal and Toronto this month, down from an average of 341 monthly flights in the winter. As it stands, WestJet will deploy three aircraft types between the two cities: the Boeing 737-700, 737-800, and MAX 8. The -700 is the most frequently scheduled, with 16 of the 28 one-way flights.
Other airlines’ service from Montreal to Toronto
Cirium data shows four airlines have scheduled service between Toronto and Montreal this month: Air Canada, Porter Airlines, WestJet, and Air Transat. Between the four carriers, there are 2,414 flights scheduled in both directions. Air Canada has the largest market share, which should not come as a surprise as it is Canada’s largest airline. Of the 2,414 flights, 1,488 belong to Air Canada.
Air Canada deploys several aircraft types because of its vast operations between the two cities. The De Havilland Canada Dash 8-Q400 is the most-used aircraft by Air Canada, which deploys the turboprop between Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.
The Dash 8s will operate four hundred seventy-two flights of the 1,488 flights. The Airbus A220-300 is also crucial for Air Canada, with 447 flights scheduled between YUL and Toronto Pearson International Airport.
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Porter also has a significant market share, operating flights on two routes, from Billy Bishop and Toronto Pearson. Most of Porter’s flights are on the Billy Bishop route, 456 of its 814, and are operated by its Dash 8s.
The addition of the Embraer E195-E2 has allowed Porter to expand its network significantly, and the airline has 358 flights scheduled between Toronto Pearson and Montreal this month. Air Transat deploys three aircraft types between the two cities: the Airbus A321, A321neo, and A330-200.