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Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN Bloomberg


The chief executive officer of WestJet is calling on the Canadian government to drop its vaccine mandate for travellers, saying the policy has "no more logic."

"Vaccine mandate for air travellers and employees needs to be dropped," Alexis von Hoensbroech tweeted from an unverified account Tuesday evening.

"As vaccines are not preventing the spreading of the virus since #omicron, there is no more logic to maintain it. This will also relax some of the operational challenges at the airports." 

Von Hoensbroech, who assumed his role as WestJet's CEO in February, chimed in a few hours after Health Canada announced that existing border measures will stay in place until at least June 30. 

Existing travel rules require proof of full vaccination for travel within or outside Canada. Travellers entering Canada who are not fully vaccinated must provide valid pre-entry COVID test results; they also face test and quarantine requirements upon arrival.

 Complex travel rules and a surge in demand have been cited as reason for delays that have exceeded several hours at many Canadian airports in recent weeks.

 Transport Minister Omar Alghabra has suggested rusty travellers are also to blame.

“Taking out the laptops, taking out the fluids – all that adds 10 seconds here, 15 seconds there,” he told reporters earlier this month.

 With a file from The Canadian Press