Air Canada scrapping London to Ottawa flight

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The daily Air Canada flight from the London International Airport to the nation’s capital is being axed as the airline tries to cut costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Air Canada announced on Tuesday that it is suspending 30 domestic flights and closing its stations at eight regional airports in Canada. The London-to-Ottawa flight is among the 30 flights being scrapped.

“These structural changes to Air Canada’s domestic regional network are being made as a result of continuing weak demand for both business and leisure travel due to COVID-19 and provincial and federal government-imposed travel restrictions and border closures, which are diminishing prospects for a near-to-mid-term recovery,” Air Canada said in a news release issued Tuesday. “As the company has previously reported, Air Canada expects the industry’s recovery will take a minimum of three years. As a consequence, other changes to its network and schedule, as well as further service suspensions, will be considered over the coming weeks as the airline takes steps to decisively reduce its overall cost structure and cash burn rate.”

Air Canada reported a net loss of $1.05 billion in the first quarter. Earlier this year, it announced that it had put more than half of its staff, about 20,000 people, on furlough. Air Canada expects it will have experienced an 85 per cent drop in business in the second quarter, compared to the second quarter of last year.