WestJet Airlines Lays Off Another 120 Employees Due To Travel Restrictions

More layoffs in Canada’s airline industry.

WestJet Airlines (TSX:WJA) has announced that it will lay off 120 cabin crew members as of March 2, blaming the measure on the federal government halting all flights to Mexico and the Caribbean.

Canadian airlines have agreed, at the request of the federal government, to suspend all flights to Mexico and the Caribbean until April 30.

Canada is also implementing new measures such as mandatory hotel quarantines for international travelers arriving in the country, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

In response to the new government measures, Air Canada (TSX:AC) said Friday that it is weighing measures such as shortened work weeks to temporarily reduce management levels as a way of preserving cash.

Air Canada also announced said that it will pause all operations of Air Canada Rouge and lay off 80 employees starting February 8 as a result of the flight suspensions. Friday's announcement by WestJet follows other rounds of layoffs in the airline sector since the start of 2021, after a spike in virus cases prompted additional travel restrictions.

Air Canada announced last month that it would lay off around 1,700 workers and cut more routes after seeing a drop in travel demand. WestJet also laid off 1,000 workers in January and further reduced its flight schedule.

As of January 7, travelers to Canada have been required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, a measure that airlines say has had an immediate impact on bookings.