WestJet Cuts Service from Hamilton

As first reported by CBC, WestJet has cancelled or reduced the majority of its flights departing from from John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport (YHM).

Beginning on July 1, 2024, the Calgary-based airline will axe flights from Hamilton to Halifax (YHZ) and St. John’s (YYT), and it will also reduce its seasonal service between Hamilton and two cities in Florida for Winter 2024/2025.

With this announcement, the total number of flights departing from Hamilton has been significantly reduced.

WestJet Cuts Service from Hamilton

WestJet has made some significant changes to the flights it offers out of Hamilton (YHM).

As of July 1, 2024, WestJet is cancelling its pre-existing routes from Hamilton to St. John’s (YYT) and Halifax (YHZ). Passengers who have been affected by the upcoming cancellation should have received an email from WestJet, which advises them that they’ll be refunded for their flights.

According to data from Cirium, an aviation analytics company, WestJet began mainline flights from Hamilton to both Atlantic cities just this spring. 

Swoop, the former ultra-low-cost subsidiary of WestJet, previously operated a number of routes out of Hamilton as a base; however, Swoop was integrated into WestJet’s mainline operations late last year.

WestJet also operates seasonal flights between Hamilton and Tampa (TPA) and Orlando (MCO) in Florida. The Calgary-based carrier is reducing the number of flights available to these cities.

Cirium data show a peak of 56 flights in March 2024, which will drop to just 18 in March 2025. 

WestJet will maintain its non-stop service between Hamilton and Calgary (YYC). At this point, it’s not clear if WestJet will offer its seasonal non-stop service to Cancun (CUN) for Winter 2024/2025, as flights aren’t loaded into its schedule.

Hamilton Airport Sees Drastic Reduction in Flights

This latest move by WestJet is sure to not land well for residents of Hamilton and surrounding areas, who have seen their flight options reduce significantly over the past few years.

Aside from WestJet’s reduced service to Florida and ongoing service to Calgary, passengers are left with only a handful of flight options departing from Hamilton:

  • Seasonal service to Cancun with Air Transat
  • Seasonal service to Cayo Coco with Air Transat
  • Seasonal service to Puerto Plata with Air Transat
  • Seasonal service to Punta Cana with Air Transat
  • Year-round service to Reykjavik with PLAY Airways

Previously, Hamilton acted as a hub for ultra-low-cost airlines, with now-defunct Lynx Air and Swoop both offering a tidy number of flights prior to their demise.

At its peak, there were 352 flights operating from Hamilton in July 2023, the vast majority of which were flown by Swoop.

Swoop previously offered many flights from Hamilton prior to being integrated into WestJet’s mainline operations

As of July 2024, those numbers drop to just 67 flights, and average out to around 60 total per month through to Spring 2025, according to data from Cirium, marking a significant decrease from just two years ago.

For its part, Air Canada began offering motorcoach connections to passengers departing from Hamilton (and Waterloo) in May 2024, with six departures daily. 

Conclusion

WestJet has cancelled routes between Hamilton and Atlantic Canada, and has reduced the number of seasonal flights it will offer to Orlando and Tampa.

This reduction in service leaves passengers departing from Hamilton with seasonal flights to the Caribbean operated by Air Transat, year-round service to Iceland by PLAY Airways, and a single WestJet route to Calgary.

The cancelled flights take effect as of July 1, 2024, and affected passengers will be refunded for their flights.