Continued lack of government support adversely affecting vital air service
Airline calls on communities to engage all levels of government to support essential air services
SMITHERS, BC, Jan. 19, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Central Mountain Air (CMA) announced it will suspend service on three regional routes. The routes will be suspended from February 3, 2021, to at least April 5, 2021. This action by CMA follows their decision earlier this month to suspended service from Prince George to Fort St. John as the company continues to deal with the crushing economic impact of the pandemic. No other airline operates these affected routes.
“Devastating declines in travel and extended provincial health advisories against non-essential travel have necessitated a significant scaling back of our scheduled operations for the foreseeable future,” commented Bob Cummings, Central Mountain Air’s CEO. “The federal government has been promising for almost a year that help is on the way to support these essential air services, but no such support has been received or clearly outlined. Our customers and the communities we serve are bearing the brunt of this inaction. In addition to supporting the local economies with the transport of essential workers, our airline and its dedicated staff fly customers to medical treatments and transport medical supplies, mail, and other vital cargo.
|Fort Nelson / Prince George||Suspended February 3 to earliest May 3|
|Kamloops / Prince George||Suspended February 3 to earliest April 5|
|Edmonton* / High Level||Suspended February 3 to earliest May 3|
|Vancouver / Kamloops||Starts April 5, 2x weekly|
|*Note: Edmonton has a charter base with an opportunity for ad hoc charter requests.”|
Recognizing the crucial link our airline provides to the communities we serve, CMA continued to operate these routes, with one short suspension, since the start of the pandemic (March April 2020) while sustaining losses. For more than ten months, CMA leadership has sought to engage the federal government in support of airports and airlines, particularly in more remote areas. However, the promised necessary financial support has not materialized. At this time, without direct government support to assist in maintaining operations until demand resumes, CMA can no longer continue the provision of these essential air services.
“We also need the continued support of the communities we serve,” continued Bob Cummings. If you rely on our services and would like to voice your view that scheduled air services are critical to your community, we ask you to contact your MLA, MP, Premier or the federal Minister of Transport. With government support, we would be proud to continue to serve our customers and maintain crucial airline connectivity in British Columbia and Alberta until demand returns. If there is any chance to save vital air service to these communities, action must be urgently undertaken.”