Air Canada temporarily grounding all Rouge flights starting Monday

All Air Canada Rouge flights will be paused beginning Monday.

By BT Toronto

All Air Canada Rouge flights will be paused beginning Monday.

The airline is citing new restrictions brought in by the Canadian government that effectively ban flights to sunny destinations like the Caribbean and Mexico in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roughly 80 employees have been handed temporary layoffs.

This isn’t the first interruption for Rouge service. Flights were suspended for most of last year but restarted in November ahead of the winter travel season.

Air Canada says Rouge remains a part of its long-term business plan.

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing, and Air Transat  would suspend service to Caribbean destinations and Mexico between January 31, and April 30.

“With the challenges we currently face with COVID-19, both here at home and abroad, we all agree that now is just not the time to be flying,” Trudeau said last Friday.

“By putting in place these tough measures now, we can look forward to a better time when we can all plan those vacations.”

With files from the Canadian Press

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