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Canadian travellers hoping for a warm getaway this winter will still have plenty of flight options despite the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the aviation industry.

The availability of flights to destinations in the southern USA, Caribbean and South America is a real positive for travellers hoping to escape the freezing Canadian winters and possibly enjoy their first vacation since the pandemic began.

calgary airport westjet planes

All of the country’s major airlines including Air Canada, Air Transat and WestJet are offering a full winter schedule featuring sunny destinations despite the disruption caused by COVID-19. 

Here is the full list of sunny destinations being offered by each of the three major Canadian airlines this winter.

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Air Canada

  • Antigua
  • Aruba
  • Bahamas (Nassau)
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Costa Rica (Liberia, San José)
  • Cuba (Caya Coco, Santa Clara, Varadero)
  • Curaçao
  • Dominican Republic (Punta Cana, Samaná)
  • Jamaica (Montego Bay, Kingston)
  • Grenada
  • Mexico (Cancun, Cozumel, Ixtapa, Puerto Vallarta, San José del Cabo, Mexico City)
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent
  • USA (Maui, Honolulu, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers)
air canada dreamliner

WestJet

  • Barbados
  • Costa Rica (Liberia)
  • Dominican Republic (Punta Cana, Puerto Plata)
  • Jamaica (Montego Bay, Kingston)
  • Mexico (Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, San José del Cabo, Mazatlán, Huatulco)
  • USA (Maui, Honolulu, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers)
Westjet plane

Air Transat

  • Colombia (Cartagena)
  • Costa Rica (Liberia, San José)
  • Cuba (Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Havana, Holguin, Santa Clara, Varadero)
  • Dominican Republic (La Romana, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Samaná, Santo Domingo)
  • El Salvador (San Salvador)
  • Guadeloupe (Pointe-à-Pitre)
  • Haiti (Port-au-Prince)
  • Honduras (Roatan)
  • Jamaica (Montego Bay)
  • Mexico (Acapulco, Cancun, and Puerto Vallarta)
  • Martinique (Fort-de-France)
  • Panama (Rio Hato)
  • Puerto Rico (San Juan)
  • St. Maarten (Philipsburg)
  • United States (Fort Lauderdale, New Orleans, Orlando)

Air Canada Provides Luxury Travel Option

Canadians travelling with Air Canada will also receive an added bonus of the option to fly in one of the airline’s premium Jetz charter aircraft, which are being repurposed for commercial travel. These all-business class planes are usually reserved for charter flights for professional sports teams, musicians and corporate clients, but ordinary passengers will now be able to enjoy the full VIP flying experience.

Perks offered by the Jetz services include seats with a 42-29 inch seat pitch, complimentary iPads for entertainment, priority check-in, premium meal service, a complimentary bar, airport lounge access and faster boarding.

Toronto Pearson Airport in Canada. Pearson is the largest and busiest airport in Canada.

Air Canada had already been offering flights using Jetz planes between Toronto and Montreal and Toronto and Ottawa, but the service is now being expanded to include a number of winter sun destinations including Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, West Palm Beach, Phoenix and Palm Springs in the US, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta in Mexico and Barbados.

Mark Galardo, Vice President of Network Planning and Alliances, said “Air Canada is very pleased to offer its customers a unique opportunity to travel like a pro athlete or a VIP and experience our premium Jetz service. Customers booking on a Jetz flight will enjoy such amenities as its all-Business Class seating configuration, upgraded meal service, and shorter boarding and deplaning times. These features, combined with Jetz’s other attributes, create a private-jet-like experience”.

cancun resorts

Pilot Testing Programs Offer Hope For Reduced Quarantine Times

The introduction of pilot COVID-19 testing programs will also provide a boost to those seeking some escape this winter. Calgary International Airport (YYC) is piloting rapid testing for travellers in order to reduce quarantine times both on arrival and return from vacation.

The airport now offers international passengers the opportunity to take a COVID-19 test on arrival, allowing them to be released from mandatory self-isolation after just 48 hours, instead of 14 days, if the test is returned negative.

Calgary airport

In partnership with WestJet, YYC is also pioneering a program for pre-travel testing for Canadians travelling to Hawaii, which would allow them to enjoy a normal vacation without needed to quarantine for two weeks on arrival in the islands.

It is hoped that the success of these pilot initiatives will allow COVID-19 travel testing to be rolled out across all of Canada’s airports – offering travellers the opportunity to travel internationally without lengthy quarantine periods and potentially revitalising the struggling aviation industry.

canada sign

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories



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