flights from toronto

Pretty much every major airline at Pearson is still flying out of Toronto

Air Canada just announced that it will be halting operations of its low-cost subsidiary Rouge for the forseeable future, laying off some 80 staff indefinitely in response to new travel rules recently introduced by the federal government.

Among new travel restrictions meant to stop COVID-19 from entering Canada is the temporary suspension of flights from the country's major airline carriers to and from "sun destinations" in Mexico and the Carribean.

Air Canada, Westjet, Sunwing and Air Transat have already implemented the measure as agreed, leaving sub-carriers like Rouge — which exist primarily to shuttle cold Canucks south — with little else to do.

"As a result of our suspension of all flights to the Caribbean and Mexico at the request of the Canadian government, we are again pausing our Rouge operations effective Feb. 8 as these flights are primarily operated by Rouge," said the airline in a statement on Wednesday.

The last Rouge flight will take place on February 8 and service will remain paused until at least April 30, which is how long the airlines agreed with Trudeau to stop serving sunny spots for.

Last week, Air Transat (based in Montreal) revealed similarly that it will be cancelling all flights to and from Toronto until the end of April. Not just flights involving sun destinations, but anywhere in the world — Toronto to Paris, Toronto to Liberia, Toronto to Barcelona, et cetera.

The company said at the time that it had experienced a drastic reduction in air travel due to the pandemic and border closures.

Despite restrictions imposed by the federal government, there are still some airlines transporting people between Toronto and warmer locales.

Aeroméxico, for instance, will take you from Toronto's Pearson International Airport to Acapulco starting at just under $700 bucks per economy seat. 

American Airlines will take you from Toronto to Cancun for less than $300 on February 9, and United will take you pretty much anywhere for a price (it's currently $3,185 round trip per person, with two layovers — in Chicago and Newark — both ways to The Bahamas.)

And then there are of course the many major foreign airlines that enter and exit Canada daily such as Holland's KLM, Germany's Lufthansa, Air France, Korean Air, China Eastern, and Emirates.

Public health officials maintain that nobody should be doing any form of non-essential travel right now as the coronavirus and its new variant strains continue to spread globally.

If you must, for an essential reason, travel, however, don't fret about a lack of available flights: Pretty much every carrier is operating normally between Toronto and non-snowbird destinations.

Delta, Swoop, Flair, American Airlines, Air Canada, Air India, British Airways, Turkish Airlines, Westjet, Emirates, Pakistan International Airlines and China Southern all have flights departing from Pearson to the U.S. or countries overseas tomorrow.

It remains to be seen if any of this will change once the federal government starts enforcing mandatory (and pricey) hotel quarantines at the expense of incoming flyers, Canadian or otherwise.

Anyone flying into Ontario must already take a mandatory COVID-19 test, as ordered by the provincial government and implemented on Monday.

Lead photo by

CJ Burnell

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