Kamloops Airport passenger numbers remain low through first half of 2021 as travel restrictions gradually ease

From Radio NL 610 AM – link to source story – thanks to CW

Victor Kaisar | Jul 16, 2021

Kamloops Airport passenger numbers remain low through first half of 2021 as travel restrictions gradually ease

Kamloops Airport staff are reporting a 319 per cent increase in passenger volumes during the months of April, May, and June this year.

Data released today shows there were 7,932 passengers that passed through the terminal at YKA, up from just 2,489 during the same three months last year.

Most of those passengers (3,373) were in June when travel restrictions within the province were eased, as part of Step 2 of BC’s COVID Restart Plan, compared to 1,407 in 2020.

So far though six months of the year, there have been 17,122 passengers at Kamloops Airport.

In April, there were 2,506 passengers (compared to 493 in 2020) while in May there were 2,053 passengers (compared to 589 in 2020).

“Passenger numbers in the second quarter continue to reflect the negative impacts of the COVID 19 pandemic on the airline, aviation and tourism industries in Kamloops,” Kamloops Airport Managing Director Ed Ratuski said. “Passenger numbers are slowly starting to recover domestically as provincial travel restrictions ease and passengers take advantage of the increased frequencies and new services offered by WestJet, Air Canada, Central Mountain Air, and Pacific Coastal Airlines.”

“However, as travel restrictions and quarantine requirements remain in place for much of the country and limited relaxation of restrictions for transborder and international destinations , recovery to pre-pandemic passenger levels will remain slow.”

While masks are not mandatory in indoor spaces in B.C. as of July 1 as part of Step 3 of the COVID Restart Plan, Ratuski is reminding passengers that masks are mandatory during the security screening and in the boarding lounge at the airport, as well as onboard the aircraft.

“We also recommend that all persons entering the terminal wear a mask. Passengers will continue to have their temperature checked prior to boarding the aircraft and we recommend allowing additional time for check in and security screening processes,” he added.

“Hourly parking is currently free to encourage those dropping off or picking up passengers to remain outside the terminal or at their vehicles.”

With restrictions on travel within Canada eased as of July 1, passengers are also being encouraged to check in online to limit the need for direct contact with airline personnel while in the terminal.