(Adds comment from WestJet, context)
MONTREAL, April 14 (Reuters) - Air Canada on Wednesday joined rival WestJet Airlines in extending a three month suspension of sun-destination flights to the Caribbean and Mexico, as the country wrestles with a surge in dangerous virus variants.
Canadian carriers agreed in January to suspend operations to sun destinations until April 30 due to concerns over the virus spreading during spring break trips.
The country’s largest carrier said it will extend the suspensions through the end of May, an Air Canada spokeswoman said by email. The airline would continue operating some essential flights carrying cargo to Mexico City, Barbados and Kingston, while coming back with temporary foreign workers and Canadians abroad on return trips.
Onex Corp-owned WestJet said on Tuesday it would extend its sun-flight suspensions until June 4.
Canada is due to import enough vaccine doses to ensure every person can receive a shot by the end of June, but the spread of new virus variants risks overtaking the pace of vaccination.
Air Canada, struggling with a collapse in traffic due to the pandemic, reached a deal on Monday on a long-awaited aid package with the federal government that would allow it to access up to C$5.9 billion ($4.71 billion)in funds. ($1 = 1.2515 Canadian dollars) (Reporting By Allison Lampert Editing by Chris Reese)