Mere hours after the Canadian government issued a travel advisory suggesting Canadians to refrain from non-essential travel, the WestJet Group has released a statement in “strong opposition.”
WestJet suggests that Canada’s recommendations on travel are “not based on science and data and significantly undermines aviation’s proven safety record.”
It also calls the measures a setback in Canada’s progress, and the country’s “successful transition from relying on blanket advisories and policies.”
Earlier today, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dominic LeBlanc said, “We are asking Canadians to be cautious heading into the holiday season. If you do not have to travel internationally, please do not.”
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The WestJet Group’s statement included some words from president and CEO Harry Taylor.
“As the only fully-vaccinated air travel sector in the world, WestJet is calling on the government to publicly share the travel related COVID-19 data that has been used to re-impose the advisory and advice targeted towards fully-vaccinated Canadians and the travel and tourism industry.”
The WestJet Group is calling for international travel standards and policies to be harmonized, but suggest that Canada’s travel measures are “firmly out of step” with policies that have been enacted across the European Union, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Given the unpredictable global #Covid19 situation, the Government of Canada advises that Canadians, regardless of their vaccination status, avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada. Learn more: https://t.co/TSJkH31anG pic.twitter.com/JPV1J9nokW
— Health Canada and PHAC (@GovCanHealth) December 15, 2021
“Since the onset of the pandemic, we have safely flown more than seven million guests and air travel has been commended for its commitment to safety. Fully-vaccinated Canadians should not be singled-out for choosing to take part in a safe activity,” added Taylor.
According to Taylor, travel bans, restrictions and advisories like the one that the Canadian government issued earlier today are “devastating to the continued economic recovery of our country,” adding that it puts thousands of travel and tourism jobs at risk.
Daily Hive has reached out to Health Canada for comment.