Airlines and cruise lines are pulling out of Canada as cruise lines and airlines are scrambling to find new ways to survive amid a wave of cancellations.
The International Air Transport Association, the trade group for the country’s carriers, said Sunday that airlines have canceled more than 3,500 flights in the first nine days of the hurricane season.
It said the cancellations have risen to more than 1,400 as of Sunday.
The loss of the nation’s most important airlines could leave passengers stranded in isolated and isolated locations for months, and it could force many Canadians to seek out the services of a stranger, said Michael Winterer, a Toronto-based transportation consultant.
“It’s going to take a long time for the industry to get its act together,” he said.
The group also said cruise lines will be forced to slash their operations in the affected regions, and airlines will face more challenges finding replacement pilots.
“This is going to be a slow, long process,” said Winterers.
The industry is also feeling the impact of a surge in business as travelers return to their homes for the holidays.
That has forced airlines to scramble to find alternate routes to people living in remote areas and is putting more pressure on the airlines, which rely on a large number of planes.
Airlines have had to adjust their schedules and cancel flights in Canada to accommodate the increased volume of travel.
They also have had difficulty finding new routes and are struggling to keep planes in the air as the storm continues to move through the country.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said Sunday it will waive travel restrictions in the Atlantic provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador, allowing the public to fly commercial flights to other states.
“We expect this to allow some travel into the Atlantic regions for the foreseeable future,” the FAA said in a statement.
Airlines have had little trouble finding new destinations for planes that were used to take people to Europe and other parts of the world during the 2008-2009 winter.
But there is uncertainty in many parts of Canada over whether those flights can continue to make the trip on their usual routes.
“That’s a concern because it’s not like airlines can just roll out the red carpet to everybody and fly out of the country,” said Tim Kowalski, a regional director for the Canadian Air Transport Command.
The storm has already forced some major changes to airlines’ plans.
“There’s a little bit of a shakeup happening,” said Chris Dufour, president of the Toronto-Dominion Bank Travelers Club, which represents nearly 100,000 U.K. travellers.
“The airline companies are trying to figure out if they’re going to come to Canada and fly with us, or if they can get out of there.”
But some airlines have been able to adjust.
Bombardier Inc. announced Sunday that it was adding more planes to its fleet and adding a crew to help passengers on the ground.
“I think we have a good amount of capacity for our customers to get to destinations, but it’s still a bit of an adjustment,” said the Canadian aircraft maker, which is currently flying more than 20 flights a day from Montreal to Toronto.
It also plans to add more crew members to its planes as the hurricane continues to batter the region.
Canadian airlines are not the only ones facing a crisis.
Airlines are also grappling with a surge of cancellances, with many airlines cutting back on flights in regions that were hit hard by last year’s massive storm.
A spokesman for the United Airlines Group said Sunday the airline plans to cancel at least 15 flights this week in the U.A.E. that were scheduled to depart from the Canadian city of Calgary.
“Due to the unprecedented nature of this storm, we are cancelling at least 30 flights to destinations in the Canadian cities of Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Winnipeg,” said Michael Burt.
Airlines in the United States have also struggled to find replacements for planes used to bring people to Canada during the winter.
The National Transportation Safety Board said Sunday more than 100 pilots and flight crew members were working for U.L.L., the airline that runs planes to the U., when the storm struck.
The NTSB said U.C.L.-SFO was flying to Calgary from its Calgary headquarters on Sunday morning, and that it had a crew of six pilots and six flight crew.
U.U.F.F., the U, is scheduled to fly to Toronto from Edmonton from Monday, and the carrier said it expects to be flying to other Canadian cities by the end of the week.