Canadian airline WestJet announced Tuesday that all “sun flights” to destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean will remain suspended until June 4. Routes to Costa Rica are included among these suspensions.
“We are extending our suspension with the clear expectation that as more Canadians are vaccinated, government policy will transition,” Ed Sims, WestJet President, said in a statement from the carrier.
“We remain focused on a long-term solution that will serve the best interests of Canadians. A safe travel-restart framework is the most effective way to support those interests and restore jobs.”
Previously, all Canadian airlines had agreed to suspend flights to “sun destinations” until April 30. Air Canada is scheduled to resume some of its leisure routes in May, though Costa Rica is not yet included in its public plans.
WestJet typically operates nonstop service to both of Costa Rica’s major international airports — Liberia (LIR) and the San José area (SJO).
Air Canada and WestJet are joined by Sunwing and Air Transat as the Canadian airlines that prior to the pandemic offered service to Costa Rica.
Air Transat says it has suspended all operations until June 14, while Sunwing reportedly won’t resume “sun flights” until June 23.
Canadian tourism comprised about 7% of total international arrivals to Costa Rica before the pandemic, according to the Tourism Board.
In 2019, Costa Rica welcomed 234,621 people from Canada. That figure halved in 2020 (115,632 people) and — due largely to Canada’s stringent reentry policies — has dipped to just 5,016 arrivals over the first two months of 2021.