Air Canada has become the latest airline to exit Australian skies, with the Star Alliance member suspending flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Vancouver across March and April.
The Star Alliance member now lists the following dates for closing its three Australian routes:
- Vancouver-Sydney: temporary suspension from April 11 until April 30
- Vancouver-Melbourne: temporary suspension from March 28 until April 30
- Vancouver-Brisbane: temporary suspension from March 28 until April 30
The axe has also fallen on almost all of the airline's international routes: out of around 100 destinations only London, Paris, Frankfurt, Delhi, Tokyo, and Hong Kong remain on the map.
In addition, Air Canada's two Signature Suite business class lounges at Toronto and Vancouver – the later of which was opened only this past weekend – have been "temporarily closed until further notice".
Earlier this week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – who has been in self-quarantine after his wife tested positive for Covid-19 after returning from a trip to the UK – closed the country's borders to everyone other than Canadian citizens, permanent residents and US citizens, and the Canadian-US border has since been shut for all non-essential traffic.
With Australia due to enact a similarly strict 'no foreigners' ban as of 9pm Friday, and compulsory self-isolation for 14 days for arriving citizens and residents, passenger movements between Australia and Canada will effectively disappear – as will all Air Canada flights.
"The restrictions on travel imposed by governments worldwide, while understandable, are nonetheless having a cataclysmic effect upon the global airline industry," says Air Canada CEO and President Calin Rovinescu.
"We are working around the clock to deal with the impact for our customers and our business of the various travel restrictions that are being made by governments at unprecedented speed without advance warning."