The authority managing Victoria International Airport lost almost $50 million in revenue in 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report, which also includes some potentially positive news for Canada’s 10th largest airport based on 2020 figures.
The figure of almost $50 million in lost revenue appears in the report from the Victoria Airport Authority Board of Directors appearing before Central Saanich council Monday.
“2021 was another challenging year for Victoria International Airport as the aviation industry continued to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on air travel,” it reads. “Continued health measures, border closures, and changing rules for travel continued to impact passenger and revenue volumes.”
The report adds that the authority secured an unspecified amount of debt financing from CIBC to help withstand lost liquidity. “Through cost containment, (Victoria International Airport) is forecast to make a small profit, pre-noncash items,” it reads. “Capital projects were held to a minimum.”
The significant decline in revenue reflects lower passenger volumes. Passenger and aircraft activity typically account for 90 per cent of the revenue. While the airport recorded more than 1.9 million passengers in 2019, passengers dropped to just under 575,000 in 2020. Updates figures for 2021 show a nominal increase to just over 576,000 for 2021.
But the report also points out that passenger numbers picked up “significantly” in the second half of 2021 in a trend expected to continue in 2022.
Developments such as the arrival of ultra-low-cost carrier Flair offering non-stop routes Edmonton, Calgary and Kitchener/Waterloo and the arrival of Swoop offering non-stop routes to Edmonton and Calgary spurred some growth. WestJet, meanwhile, launched non-stop routes to Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Ottawa. International travel to the United States also resumed in late 2021 after the federal government had lifted restrictions in place since March 2020.
2021 also witnessed the completion or start of several new business developments on airport lands, including the completion of Titan Boats’ new manufacturing facility and the Western Canada Marine Spill Response facility. Likely none though generated as much interest as the authority’s deal with York Realty leading to a large warehouse to be operated by Amazon opposite a residential neighbourhood in Sidney.
The building’s initial design (since revised) caused considerable controversy as locals complained about the building’s appearance. The lack of consultation prior to the announcement also ruffled feathers.
The report also updates the public on plans to fix a blind spot that has left a $4.3-million taxiway extension un-usable.
“Final construction was coordinated to accommodate CCTV cameras, which will provide (air traffic control) the ability to view the newly built east extension of Taxiway Echo and furthermore allow aircraft access to the full length of Taxiway Echo,” it reads.
Overall, the report speaks of better days ahead for the airport in predicting higher consumer confidence in air travel as vaccination rates rise and travel restrictions ease. This said, it also calls on governments to take a broader perspective in the face of future pandemics.
“The aviation industry manages risk regularly and recognizes that it cannot be eliminated entirely but managed in a way to move people safely,” it reads. “This is a perspective for governments to consider how they can not only protect their citizens from the virus, but how to protect citizens from joblessness too.”
As a generator of close to $1 billion annually in economic activity, a “vital thriving” airport is critical to region’s overall economic vitality, it reads.
Ultra-low fare airline announces its largest expansion ever with eight new domestic routes as part of summer schedule and new non-stop service to Palm Springs
Brings enhanced connectivity to Atlantic Canada with first ever non-stop flights from Edmonton to New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island and new non-stops to Nova Scotia
Reaffirms commitment to city by naming its newest aircraft #Edmonton
EDMONTON, AB, Nov. 15, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low fare airline, reaffirmed its commitment to the Edmonton Metropolitan Region with the announcement of new service to one U.S. and eight domestic destinations from its Western Canadian base. The airline’s significant new investments were celebrated this morning alongside the unveiling of Swoop’s newest aircraft, which will fly with the name #Edmonton.
The airline’s growth will see Swoop’s flight capacity in Alberta’s capital increase 76% compared to pre-pandemic levels, supporting the creation of 140 additional direct and spin-off jobs and an anticipated $120M of economic output activityi in 2022.
“This is a major milestone for Swoop as we underscore our commitment to leading the way for ultra-low fare air travel in Canada and reaffirm our position as the airline with the most destinations from Edmonton,” said Charles Duncan, President of Swoop. “With a strong focus on growth and Edmonton as our partner, we will continue to provide our travellers with more non-stop flights and ultra-low fares while supporting the recovery of Canada’s travel and tourism economy.”
New non-stop flights to eight Canadian cities
The addition of eight new Canadian destinations to Swoop’s summer schedule will see non-stop service from Edmonton to Charlottetown, Comox, Halifax, Kelowna, Moncton, Ottawa, Regina and Saskatoon. Swoop will be the first carrier to bring non-stop connectivity from Edmonton International Airport to Charlottetown and Moncton and the airline’s summer schedule will also see the restoration of service to London, Ont.
Hello, Palm Springs!
Beginning December 16, Swoop’s transborder presence is growing from Edmonton with the addition of new service to Palm Springs. The scheduled non-stop service to Palm Springs will operate twice weekly.
To commemorate its history and commitment to Edmonton, Swoop celebrated the naming of its newest aircraft #Edmonton alongside key government leaders and business stakeholders at Edmonton International Airport.
Following the event, the Boeing 737-800 aircraft entered service for the operation of flight WO 770 departing Edmonton at 12:00 local time, en route to Phoenix (Mesa), Arizona with a scheduled arrival of 3:30 PM local time. Edmontonians can expect to see #Edmonton operating several of Swoop’s newly announced routes.
Full schedule details of Swoop’s service from Edmonton can be found below.
Peak Weekly Frequency
Total one- way fare (CAD) †
Base Fare (CAD)
Taxes and Fees (CAD)
Edmonton – Halifax*
May 1, 2022
Edmonton – Charlottetown*
June 16, 2022
Edmonton – Kelowna*
May 5, 2022
Edmonton – Ottawa*
April 25, 2022
Edmonton – Comox*
June 9, 2022
Edmonton – Regina*
June 16. 2022
Edmonton – Saskatoon*
June 14, 2022
Edmonton – Moncton*
June 17, 2022
Edmonton – London
June 2, 2022
Edmonton – Winnipeg
Edmonton – Toronto
Edmonton – Hamilton
Edmonton – Abbotsford
Edmonton – Victoria
†Special introductory fares are limited quantity. Book by November 29, 2021 for travel between May 2 and June 22, 2022.
Peak Weekly Frequency
Total one- way fare (CAD) †
Base Fare (CAD)
Taxes and Fees (CAD)
Edmonton – Las Vegas
Edmonton – Phoenix (Mesa)
† Book by November 29, 2021 for travel between May 2 and June 22, 2022.
New Service to Palm Springs
Peak Weekly Frequency
Total one- way fare (CAD) †
Base Fare (CAD)
Taxes and Fees (CAD)
Edmonton – Palm Springs*
December 16, 2021
†Special introductory fares are limited quantity. Book by November 29, 2021 for travel between January 10 and February 19, 2022.
“Swoop’s commitment to Edmonton is a clear sign that there is confidence in Alberta’s Recovery Plan. The new routes across Canada and to Palm Springs open up exciting opportunities for tourism and business.”
Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Transportation
“I want to thank Swoop for supporting the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. Having increased connections across Canada and beyond through Edmonton International Airport is vital for our region. As a major city contributing to Alberta’s recovery, strong air service will help us create jobs and grow our economy.”
Amarjeet Sohi, Mayor of Edmonton
“Next time you hear a plane passing over, look up, look way up, and you just might see #Edmonton flying by. Thank you Swoop for naming one of your fleet after our great community, we’re honoured you will help carry the name Edmonton across Canada and North America. Your dedication to the Edmonton Metropolitan Region is helping bring more low-cost travel options for our passengers and we can’t wait for these new destinations to start.”
Tom Ruth, President and CEO, Edmonton International Airport
Swoop is on a mission to make travel more affordable and accessible for all Canadians. Established in 2018 as an independent subsidiary of the WestJet Group of Companies, Swoop is Canada’s ultra-not-expensive airline. Offering scheduled service to destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean, Swoop’s unbundled fares put travellers in control of purchasing only the products and services they desire.
Swoop’s modern fleet of ten Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity has safely carried more than 3 million travellers in three years of operation. FlySwoop.com allows travellers to quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, track flights and access Wi-Fi service in-flight.
i Source: Swoop 2022 Edmonton International Airport Economic Impacts performed by the Chris Lowe Group
OTTAWA, ON, Nov. 2, 2021 /CNW/ – The Government of Canada is prioritizing the health and safety of all people in Canada by continuing to take a risk-based and measured approach to re-opening the border. Canada’s phased approach to easing border measures is informed by the available data and scientific evidence, including the vaccination rate of Canadians, and the improving epidemiological situation.
The strict vaccine travel requirements that will be fully phased in by November 30, and the pan-Canadian proof of vaccination credential now available for travel, are creating opportunities for safe travel for vaccinated Canadians.
As a next step in increasing travel opportunities, Transport Canada is easing the restriction on international flight arrivals. The department is expanding the scope of the existing Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that currently directs international passenger flights into 10 Canadian airports.
Effective on November 30, 2021, international flights carrying passengers will be permitted to land at the following additional Canadian airports:
St. John’s International
John C. Munro Hamilton International
Region of Waterloo International
Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International
These airports, in cooperation with the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency and Transport Canada, are working to implement the measures necessary to start safely welcoming international passengers as of November 30.
Consideration will be given to adding additional airports as conditions dictate, based on demand, operational capacity, the epidemiological situation in Canada, and recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The Government of Canada continues to work closely with airports and aviation operators to ensure appropriate procedures are put in place to protect travellers and workers.
Border and public health measures remain subject to change as the epidemiological situation evolves.
“Increased vaccination levels have allowed us to safely re-open these additional Canadian airports to international passenger flights. This measure will help ensure that travellers are able to access more regional airports for their international travels this winter, while continuing to support the Government of Canada’s measured approach to re-opening our border.”
The Honourable Omar Alghabra Minister of Transport
The 10 Canadian airports currently accepting international flights are: Halifax Stanfield International, Québec City Jean Lesage International, Montréal-Trudeau International, Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International, Toronto Pearson International, Billy Bishop Toronto City Centre, Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International, Edmonton International, Calgary International, and Vancouver International.
Service will launch in Spring 2022 to San Francisco, Nashville, and Denver in the U.S., between Toronto and Victoria and to Comox, B.C., in Canada
Canadian ULCC adds four aircraft to bases in Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver
150 new jobs created from schedule and fleet growth
Edmonton, Alberta, Oct. 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Flair Airlines, Canada’s only independent ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC), continues its unprecedented growth with the deployment of four brand new 737 MAX aircraft in April and May 2022. Two additional aircraft will be added to Flair’s Toronto base, bringing the total there to five. A second aircraft will be added to Flair’s Edmonton base and a third aircraft to its Vancouver base. Flair’s Spring 2022 schedule will expand from twelve aircraft to sixteen, delivering 33% schedule growth.
A whopping 14 new routes will be added, including service to four fantastic new destinations. Three new cities will be added to Flair’s network in the US, allowing Canadians to finally travel affordably to San Francisco, Nashville, and Denver. Flair will also launch Comox as a second gateway to Vancouver Island, complementing existing service to Victoria and allowing visitors to explore even more of the island.
“Travelling and reconnecting with friends will be among the top priorities for many Canadians in the coming months, and Flair is continuing our growth by adding more aircraft and routes so we can bring sustainably low fares to even more iconic destinations across North America,” said Stephen Jones, President and CEO, Flair Airlines. “Whether you’re looking for a weekend break on Vancouver Island or hiking in the Rockies, Flair will get you there affordably.”
With the addition of these four aircraft, Flair will create 150 new jobs for flight attendants, pilots and operational support staff. Flair is currently recruiting for 100 pilot positions to meet the needs of its growing fleet.
Flair is adding new 737 MAX aircraft as it strives to achieve the lowest cost per seat mile of any Canadian airline. The aircraft deliver fuel savings and reduce the airline’s CO2 emissions by 14%. Lower per passenger emissions are a vital step in lowering Flair’s carbon footprint as it works to become Canada’s greenest and most sustainable airline.
Fares to US destinations start between $99 and $129 CAD one-way and several of the new domestic Canadian routes have fares as low as $49 CAD one way, including taxes and fees. All routes and schedule details can be viewed at https://www.flyflair.com.
Flair is also starting service to 6 US destinations this Fall and currently serves 18 destinations in Canada. Flair is growing to serve 28 destinations by spring 2022.
Toronto Pearson Base Grows to 5 Aircraft
The addition of two aircraft based in Toronto will grow Flair’s footprint to five aircraft. Flair will be providing low fares on nonstop flights to 19 destinations from Toronto Pearson Airport.
“We are excited to welcome Flair’s new routes as they expand their network and offer Canadians more options to travel to the U.S. as well as the picturesque destination of Victoria, BC. Passengers travelling through Pearson can do so confidently with many measures in place to keep them safe, such as no- and low-touch check-in and bag drop, improved air quality and contactless shopping and dining options,” said Craig Bradbrook, Chief Operating Officer, Greater Toronto Airports Authority.
Edmonton Base Opening in December
In December, Flair will be opening a base in Edmonton with the addition of a new aircraft and adding new nonstop service to Hollywood-Burbank, Las Vegas, Palm Springs and Phoenix-Mesa. The spring addition of routes to Nashville, San Francisco, Comox, Regina, Montreal, Winnipeg and Saskatoon will join the nonstop flights Flair currently provides to 7 domestic destinations from Edmonton.
“Grab a guitar and get ready to go! Edmonton loves country music and we’re excited to have Nashville joining our list of non-stop destinations. All new and added service supports our recovery which is important for both our business community and leisure travellers. I want to thank Flair for adding these American destinations along with significant increases in service for several Canadian cities. I’m confident our community will embrace these flights and this increased service from Flair,” said Tom Ruth, President and CEO, Edmonton International Airport.
Additional Vancouver Growth
Adding a third aircraft to the Vancouver base allows Flair to expand service in Western Canada. The nonstop flights to San Francisco and Kelowna will follow new service starting this Fall that includes nonstop flights from Vancouver to Hollywood-Burbank, Palm Springs, Phoenix-Mesa and Las Vegas.
“We are thrilled to support the growth of Flair’s network from YVR. This latest announcement will mean new options out of YVR to popular destinations to BC’s interior and south of the border,” said Russell Atkinson, Director, Air Service Development, Vancouver Airport Authority. “With more people being vaccinated and travel measures easing, we look forward to continued increased service from Flair which will benefit the community and the economy that supports it.”
ULCC Growth Benefits Canadian Travellers
With the addition of new aircraft and more capacity, Flair is providing more affordable air travel options across Canada and to the USA. As travel returns, Flair’s low fares will help kickstart tourism and reconnect families.
“We’re excited to welcome Flair Airlines to Nashville International Airport®, which means more connectivity between Nashville and Canadian destinations,” said Doug Kreulen, Nashville International Airport president and CEO. “Edmonton is an outstanding new addition to BNA’s® portfolio of international flights, and more service to Toronto is great news for everyone. We look forward to welcoming Flair passengers to Nashville next April with ultra-low fares.”
“Expanding Denver’s global connectivity not only aids in our economic recovery, it also continues to elevate our city as a global hub,” Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “As borders reopen and we begin to welcome back international travel, the investment by Flair into Denver is a big boost for our community and local businesses.”
“We’re excited to see our partnership with Flair continue to evolve as we work to restore in-demand travel options interrupted amid the pandemic,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “The return of this route will provide travellers with additional, convenient options when flying between Winnipeg and Edmonton, whether to visit family and friends or pursue business or study opportunities. We look forward to welcoming back this popular route, meeting our community’s needs through services at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport.”
“Skyxe is excited to be expanding our relationship with Flair Airlines. Edmonton is a high traffic market for Saskatoon, and we hope the addition of Flair’s low cost service option will allow many of our residents to visit friends and family in Edmonton more often,” said Stephen Maybury, CEO of Skyxe Saskatoon Airport.
“We’re very excited that Flair Air has chosen Comox as the gateway to central Vancouver Island,” said Mike Atkins, CEO of the Comox Valley Airport Commission. “As air travel continues to rebound, Flair’s service to Calgary and Edmonton will provide incredible low-cost options to visitors, businesses and friends and family alike. We can’t wait to share the beauty of Vancouver Island with Flair’s passengers.”
“We are delighted to see more options for passengers on the very popular Vancouver – Kelowna and Victoria – Kelowna routes as we continue to see more growth by Flair out of Kelowna,” said Sam Samaddar, Airport Director, Kelowna International Airport.
About Flair Airlines
Flair Airlines is Canada’s only independent Ultra Low-Cost Carrier (ULCC) and is on a mission to liberate the lives of Canadians by providing affordable air travel that connects them to the people and experiences they love. With an expanding fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft, Flair is growing to serve 28 cities across Canada and the U.S. For more information, please visit http://www.flyflair.com.
New Destinations for March & April 2022:
Nashville, TN (BNA)
Denver, CO (DEN)
San Francisco, CA (SFO)
Comox, BC (YQQ)
Toronto – Nashville (YYZ-BNA) – 2x weekly starting April 14, 2022
Toronto – Denver (YYZ-DEN) – 3x weekly starting April 15, 2022
Canada’s favorite ULCC is confident in travel demand growth over the coming year and expands schedule in core Canadian and US markets
Edmonton, Alberta, September 9, 2021 – Flair Airlines, Canada’s only true ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC), continues its surge to bring low fares to Canadians and has extended its flight schedule through Summer 2022 in core Canadian and US markets.
“As we grow our fleet and expand our service, we see the demand for Flair’s low fare travel continuing to explode across Canada. We are absolutely focused on rescuing Canadians from the bloated prices they have long suffered in flying,” says Stephen Jones, President and CEO, Flair Airlines. “Flair is committed to helping reunite families and make travel accessible for everyone, and our schedule extension will help passengers prepare for 2022 by knowing they can explore and connect without breaking the bank.”
The schedule expansion extends the booking period into Summer 2022. Many year-round and seasonal routes will see an increase in service including flights departing from Edmonton (YEG), Kelowna (YLW), Halifax (YHZ), Kitchener (YKF), Abbotsford (YXX), Winnipeg (YWG), Toronto (YYZ), Saint John (YSJ), Vancouver (YVR), Calgary (YYC), Victoria (YYJ), Charlottetown (YYG), Thunder Bay (YQT), and Montreal (YUL).
Flair’s confidence in Canadian travel continuing to grow in 2022 is reflected in the ultra-low fares where cost efficiency and demand allow for pricing to start at just $29 CAD one-way on some routes. All routes and schedule details can be viewed at https://www.flyflair.com. More low fares and exciting summer route announcements will be coming soon! Be among the first to know by signing up for Flair’s newsletter https://www.flyflair.com/newsletter.
Flair is rapidly growing to serve Canadians with low fare flights, the extended schedule allows for more efficient planning for customers and airline partners. Deliveries of new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft throughout 2021 and 2022 continue to grow the fleet as Flair achieves its goal of 50 aircraft in five years. Flair continues to bring more jobs to the market and is hiring more staff and flight crew as it meets the growth demands of the airline.
About Flair Airlines
Flair Airlines is Canada’s only independent Ultra Low-Cost Carrier (ULCC) and is on a mission to liberate the lives of Canadians by providing affordable air travel that connects them to the people and experiences they love. With an expanding fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft, Flair is growing to serve 26 cities across Canada and North America. For more information, please visit http://www.flyflair.com
A man was arrested on the Victoria International Airport tarmac on Aug. 7 after a vehocle was driven through the YYJ perimeter fence. (Black Press Media file photo)
YYJ firefighters follow driver until police arrived to make the arrest; no one injured
PENINSULA NEWS STAFF | Aug. 12, 2021
A man was arrested on the tarmac at the Victoria International Airport last weekend after he reportedly drove his vehicle through the perimeter fence.
Sidney North Saanich RCMP received a report on Aug. 7 saying that a man drove through the fence into a restricted area. Police say he was then followed by airport firefighters across the tarmac for “some distance” before officers arrived and arrested him.
The man was transported to hospital as police were concerned his actions may have been the result of a medical incident.
Police said the incident was dangerous both for the man and those operating or aboard aircraft.
“The area is restricted to allow airplanes to land and take off safely and is carefully coordinated by air traffic controllers. I am grateful that this incident was resolved quickly and safely and no harm came to any member of the public,” Cpl. Andres Sanchez, the detachment’s media relations officer, said in a release.
Police called it an isolated incident, noting there is no further danger to the public, but they continue to investigate. Charges will be considered after further details are uncovered.
This conceptual rendering shows revisions to the proposed warehouse in Sidney on land under the authority of the Victoria Airport Authority. York Realty, which plans to build, then lease the building, said significant changes to the massing and height of the building respond to community feedback. (Rendering courtesy of York Realty)
Airport Authority, York Realty to work with area stakeholders to build roundabout
Amazon is coming to Sidney.
“We are pleased to welcome Amazon to Victoria International Airport and the Peninsula,” said Geoff Dickson, Victoria Airport Authority (VAA) president and CEO, in a statement. “We would like to thank York Realty and Amazon for the vision they have shown in choosing this location with a goal to meet the growing demands of the region.”
He made that statement as VAA confirmed the approval of York Realty’s proposal to build a 115,000-square-foot delivery station on a 7.8-acre industrial zoned Victoria International Airport lot opposite a residential neighbourhood.
The announcement confirms rumours about the corporate giant coming to Sidney that had started when plans for the warehouse first appeared in the spring of 2021. Despite proddings from public officials and the media, York Realty and VAA did not release the identity of the would-be operator when first presenting the proposal and instead asked for patience.
Critics have long accused Amazon of dodging taxes, undermining the rights of workers and hurting brick-and-mortar retail – all points raised by incumbent MP Elizabeth May of the federal Greens, who earlier this spring said the public had a right to know the identity of the operator.
Site preparations will start in September with construction expected to be completed in fall 2022, according to a release. Once built, the warehouse will function as a “last mile” delivery station. Amazon orders are transported to delivery stations via trucks from fulfilment and sorting centres and once there, items are sorted, packed and loaded into delivery vehicles.
As part of the development approval process, the project was presented to the Town of Sidney for review and comment in April, with consultation extended to the general public and the WSANEC Leadership Council. The proposal was met with no small measure of backlash from the community, with concerns focused around how the overall build would fit with nearby homes and the expected increase in traffic. York Realty subsequently made significant revisions to the proposal that appeared to satisfy at least some critics.
VAA has said it will work with York Realty, the Town of Sidney, the District of North Saanich, and other stakeholders in the area to plan the design and construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Galaran Road and Beacon Avenue.
“It is our hope that, with Amazon as a sub-tenant, the new delivery station will serve as a significant economic generator for the region,” said Matt Woolsey, York Realty president, in the same statement. “More importantly, we plan on creating a building that is a first-of-its-kind in Canada, while providing landscaping improvements and amenities for the neighbourhood.”
York Realty will be working with Tseycum, Tsartlip, and Tsawout First Nations on incorporating design elements and art installations into the building exterior and landscaping design.
“We are satisfied with the commitment York Realty and Amazon have made to ensure low environmental impacts, to create a relationship with the Tseycum, Tsartlip and Tsawout First Nations, and to recognize WSANEC lands and culture,” added Gord Elliott, WSANEC Leadership Council director of operations.
The Victoria International Airport is one of three Vancouver Island regional airports receiving federal funding this summer, the government announced July 30. (Black Press Media file photo)
Funding aims to help Victoria, Nanaimo, Comox Valley airports maintain regional connectivity
PENINSULA NEWS STAFF | Jul 30, 2021
Victoria International Airport is among 11 B.C. airports receiving an injection of federal dollars this summer.
In a statement Friday (July 30), the government announced $11,721,721 in funding through its regional air transportation initiative to help ensure connectivity and jobs to and from smaller regions in the province.
The Victoria airport (YYJ) will receive the largest sum, nearly $3 million.
“This funding announcement is welcome news which will assist YYJ to reinstate lost air service, attract new air service, build passenger demand and continue to operate a safe and efficient airport with world class safety and health standards,” said Victoria Airport Authority president/CEO Geoff Dickson.
“Air connectivity is a key to economic prosperity and we look forward to help building back the visitor economy.”
YYJ has seen an enormous drop in traffic during the pandemic, plummeting from nearly two million passengers through its doors in 2019 to less than 600,000 in 2020. Although there has been a small degree of bounce back in the last couple of months, numbers continue to sit at record lows. In June, 12,746 passengers went through the airport, compared to 169,825 in 2019.
Nanaimo will receive funding in two areas: approximately $1.38 million for the airport commission and $346,000 for the Port Authority. The Comox Valley Airport Commission has funding of about $1.1 million heading its way.
The remaining regions include Prince Rupert, Bella Coola, Prince George, Kamloops, Fort St. John, Golden, Terrace and Cassidy.
“Regional airports and infrastructure are critical components of the B.C. economy, both for trade and for the travel that many Canadians are starting to look forward to as we emerge from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will go a long way towards getting these assets back on their feet,” said Terry Beech, parliamentary secretary to the fisheries and economic development ministers.
Targeted Government of Canada support will be provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada
VANCOUVER, BC, July 30, 2021 /CNW/ – Regional air transportation is crucial to ensure merchandise circulates, supply chains are maintained, and regional economic growth continues. The pandemic has had major impacts on regional air transportation ecosystems, affecting economies, communities, and local businesses.
The Government of Canada’s Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI), launched in March 2021, fosters access to air transportation and supports regional ecosystems. In particular, it enables regional air carriers and airports to remain operational in these difficult times and to continue to contribute to regional economic growth, while adapting to new post-COVID-19 realities and requirements.
B.C. airports to benefit from funding
With this in mind, Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (B.C.), on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, announced $11,721,721 in RATI funding for 11 regional airports in B.C.
This funding will enable these airports to overcome challenges that were brought on by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Regional air transportation is key to the economic development of communities and businesses across Canada. Since it helps draw Canadians to rural and remote communities to work and raise their families, while also providing reliable connectivity with urban centres, it plays a crucial role in a just, inclusive recovery for all, throughout the country.
“It is important to protect our regional air transportation for the thousands of workers employed by this sector and for the many businesses and communities that depend on it. Air connectivity makes our regions accessible to Canadians who want to settle there and is key in moving our businesses’ products to their destination markets. That’s why, as part of our plan for a strong economic recovery, our government supports this connectivity, indispensable to healthy, inclusive growth.”
– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada
“Regional airports and infrastructure are critical components of the B.C. economy, both for trade and for the travel that many Canadians are starting to look forward to as we emerge from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will go a long way towards getting these assets back on their feet and ready to deliver on the needs of British Columbians as we look towards a brighter future.”
– Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (B.C.)
“Victoria International Airport is a vital economic generator for the Greater Victoria Region. The pandemic has been financially devastating to the airport industry and aviation sector as a whole. This funding announcement is welcome news which will assist YYJ to reinstate lost air service, attract new air service, build passenger demand, and continue to operate a safe and efficient airport with world class safety and health standards. Air connectivity is a key to economic prosperity and we look forward to help building back the visitor economy.”
– Geoff Dickson, President and CEO, Victoria Airport Authority
“We are grateful for this funding. It is essential to help continue our operations and ensure that we continue to be the gateway to Northern British Columbia. The Prince George Airport is a hub for not only passenger services but also medevac, RCMP, aerial search and rescue, and wildfire fighting services for Northern and remote communities.”
– Gordon Duke, President and CEO, Prince George Airport Authority
The Initiative supports regional air ecosystems—which include regional air carriers and airports, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises and non-profit organizations—in developing and implementing enhanced services for improved regional connectivity.