The Comox Valley Airport is happy to announce increased service to Vancouver on Air Canada Express

May 2, 2022, Comox BC • Thanks to CW

On Monday, May 2nd, Air Canada increased frequency to and from Comox (YQQ) with additional Air Canada Express service connections via Vancouver Airport (YVR).

“The return of 3 x daily Air Canada service with crew overnighting in Comox provides the essential connections our region has been waiting for since the start of the pandemic. By adding an early morning departure and an inbound evening flight, passengers have options to travel nearly anywhere in the world in a day. Increased choice is always welcome news, and further signals a cautious return to a more normal travel experience,” said Airport CEO Mike Atkins.

With Flair Airline’s service to Calgary and Edmonton, Swoop’s soon to start service to Edmonton, and the return of a full summer schedule from WestJet, including the popular non-stop service to Toronto, Comox’s options for safe and affordable travel just keep growing. We look forward to speeding you on your journey through YQQ!

Air Canada

About Comox Valley Airport Commission

The Comox Valley Airport Commission (CVAC) is a federally incorporated, non-profit entity, established through letters patent in 1996. The nine-member Commission is broadly representative of the Comox Valley community and its members are nominated by the City of Courtenay, the Town of Comox, the Village of Cumberland, the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) and the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce.

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YQQ welcomes the recent Federal Governments announcement on the easing of travel restrictions and advisories

Thanks to CW

February 17, 2022 – Comox Valley Airport (YQQ)

The Comox Valley Airport welcomes the recent Federal Government of Canada announcement on the easing of travel restrictions and advisories, viewing it as a step forward towards normalizing travel for Canadians. As of February 28th, the Government will no longer recommend against non-essential travel, great news for Canadians considering Spring Break and other leisure travel options. In addition, fully vaccinated travellers returning to Canada will see a reduction in random testing, and those selected for testing will no longer have to quarantine while they await results. Travellers will also have the more convenient and affordable option of providing a rapid antigen test for pre-entry requirements when they return.

“We welcome this news and look forward to a more normal travel experience this summer, as the Comox Airport continues to be well served by competitive airfares, and great connectivity” said airport CEO Mike Atkins. “The recovery of air service and continued support of our legacy national and regional carriers, and the arrival of new Ultra Low Cost (ULC) Flair Airlines next month and Swoop Airlines in June will help speed tourism recovery while continuing to serve the travel needs of our growing region”.

While this announcement provides some hope of relief from some of the most onerous barriers to air travel in the world, the news that the Comox Valley Airport can once again welcome International Flights came too late for WestJet’s Puerto Vallarta Winter service. “It is truly disappointing to know that this inexplicable wait has resulted in additional travel time and expense for our passengers wanting to fly internationally,” said Atkins. “With no explanation of why the Comox Valley Airport remained restricted to international flights while airports across Canada were allowed to re-open, the winter service to Puerto Vallarta has been lost for the season.”

For more information on the changes and requirements for domestic and international travel, see the Government of Canada’s website: https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid.

The Comox Valley Airport Commission (CVAC) is a federally incorporated, non-profit entity, established through letters patent in 1996 as the governing authority for the operation of the Comox Valley Airport.

Comox Valley Airport looking for passenger numbers to take off in 2022

From the Comox Valley Record – link to source story🔗 – thanks to CW

A plane on the tarmac at the Comox Valley Airport. Photo by Comox Valley Airport
A plane on the tarmac at the Comox Valley Airport. Photo by Comox Valley Airport

Pandemic restrictions impacting numbers; ULCs could provide a boost for travellers out of YQQ

ERIN HALUSCHAK, Comox Valley Record | January 18, 2022

The Comox Valley Airport is hoping for smooth skies for the months ahead following an increase in passenger traffic over the holidays but a dropoff during the first month of the new year.

Mike Atkins, the CEO for YQQ said passenger numbers for 2021 were at about 65 per cent of pre-pandemic numbers to close out the year. A twist for the airport came on Dec. 15 when Canadians were advised to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada due to the risk of the Omicron variant.

“Since the New Year, we’ve seen a drop off in numbers. People who already had travel plans pushed on for Christmas, but into January, it has been quite slow,” noted Atkins.

While many airports across the country delayed or cancelled flights due to significant winter weather or staffing issues, Atkins said flight ran smoothly throughout the holidays season, thanks to the “incredible” assistance from 19 Wing Comox who kept the runways clear through multiple snow events.

“Regardless of (the weather), the airport never shut down. We only lost one flight due to a challenge with a de-icing truck. We did a lot of shoveling and salting on the aprons and there haven’t been any real weather issues.”

With ultra-low-cost carrier Flair Airlines set to begin operations out of Comox on March 29 and WestJet’s ULC Swoop Airlines set to begin on June 9, Atkins explained recent renovations to the south end of the terminal building should be complete by the end of March.

Once completed, the terminal will have a new security area and expanded hold room, something he says is even more crucial as passengers maintain social distancing regulations.

In late 2021, the Comox Valley Airport board of directors asked Comox council for support to appeal to the federal government to reinstate the airport’s international designation, in order to resume direct seasonal WestJet flight from Comox to Puerto Vallarta.

Atkins said the decision has been delayed and added other airports in the province such as Victoria and Kelowna have received their international designation.

“It’s frustrating (for travellers) as they’ve had their flights rebooked through Calgary.”

Overall, he said delays in recovery are taking longer than anticipated but estimates it will take about two years to increase passenger numbers to what they were pre-pandemic. With the Comox Valley as a preferred summer destination domestically, Atkins said he is hopeful by the summer YQQ will be busy again with a tourism boom.

“With the arrival of Flair and Swoop and summer weather, it’s exciting to see what will happen in our market.”

PCR, antigen tests now available at Comox Valley Airport

From Comox Valley Record – link to source story🔗 – thanks to CW

Travellers will no longer have to book an appointment in Nanaimo for PCR test

ERIN HALUSCHAK | January 17, 2022

The Comox Valley Airport is making flying internationally a little bit easier for those in the North Island, with the addition of an on-site COVID testing lab.

The testing facility, operated by Connectus Global, will provide both PCR and rapid antigen test kits at a cost and is set to open at 8 a.m. on Jan. 19.

Up until now, the closest location for travellers who require a PCR test for travelling is to book an appointment at a facility in Nanaimo.

Appointments can either be scheduled online using the Connectus Global clinic booking tool accessed via the Comox Valley Airport’s website or travellers can stop in to book in person at the testing location in the terminal, located near the main arrivals door beside the baggage pick-up area.

“The health and safety of our passengers, visitors and employees have been our top priority since the start of the pandemic,” said Mike Atkins, the CEO of the airport. “We think that testing will be here for the foreseeable future and asymptomatic COVID-19 testing is one additional measure to support safe air travel and our local community.”

PCR test costs vary depending on the time needed for results. For results within 48 hours, the cost is $175; for next day results, the test cost is $250 and tests with same-day results (by midnight) cost $375.

Because the lab is located at the airport, travellers will not have to worry about transportation delays in order to receive their results. Information will be entered into the Connectus Global database and results will be sent by email based on the selected timeline.

Individuals will receive a digital health passport via their handheld device or tablet for display to border officials, air carriers or governing agencies to provide confirmation of test results at the appropriate stage of travelling.

Tests are also available for anyone wishing to use them as an additional measure to prevent potential spread or peace of mind.

Rapid antigen test kits are also available for take-home use for $25 and can be purchased at Mid-Island Gifts, airport vending machines or at the Connectus collection site in the terminal.

Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Friday and hours may be expanded to meet demand.

For more information, visit comoxvalleyaiport.com.

Holiday travel tips from the Comox Valley Airport (YQQ)

Comox Valley Airport | 22 December 2021 – Thanks to CW

The winter holiday season is a busy time of year at Comox Valley Airport. Planning ahead will reduce stress and make your journey safer, and more enjoyable.

This year, more than ever, a fully charged cellular phone is useful for accessing flight information, checking in, and displaying your vaccine passport. There are also several apps that you can download before you leave that will be needed or useful for travel.

  • For anyone travelling out of country – the ArriveCan App is required to enter Canada.
  • Your airline may have an app, that will permit you to check in, and obtain current flight information, along with many other features, such as inflight food and beverage and entertainment. The airline websites have useful information to help plan for your flight, including pre-travel testing options, baggage restrictions and current COVID-19 measures.
  • For more information regarding COVID-19 follow the advisory on the Comox Valley Airport Commission website.
  • Comox Valley Airport parking can be booked and paid for “touch free” using the Honk mobile app. This can save you time when you arrive, and is particularly useful if you need to extend your parking remotely – just make sure to remember your plate number!When using the HONK app – the paved lot is Zone 372A and all of the gravel (economy) lots are Zone 372B.
  • For additional “frequently asked questions”, and more information follow this link YQQ’s Holiday Travel Tips.

The YQQ Ready program on our website outlines the enhanced measures in use at the terminal to help keep passengers, staff and air crew safe. The management and staff of Comox Valley Airport Commission wish you all Happy Holidays, and safe travels.

YQQ asking for help from Comox council to get travellers to Mexico

From Comox Valley Record – link to source story – Thanks to CW

Comox Valley Airport. File photo

Comox Valley Airport. File photo

“Our seasonal service to Puerto Vallarta is at risk again … if this policy isn’t changed soon”

ERIN HALUSCHAK | 8 December 2021

The Comox Valley Airport board of directors is hoping for a little help from Comox in order to assist travellers heading south.

At the Dec. 1 council meeting, council received a letter from Martin Crilly on behalf of the Comox Valley Airport Commission asking for a letter of support to reinstate their seasonal direct Comox to Puerto Vallarta service.

For years in conjunction with WestJet, YQQ offered the service pre-pandemic, allowing travellers the ability to avoid stopovers in either Vancouver or Calgary. Crilly noted in his letter while the board is encouraged by the steps the federal government has taken to restore international flights to more Canadian airports, “as one of the regional airports that have not yet been included in that decision, we are anxious.”

He added the board sees no reason why YQQ should wait, as they remain focused on restoring operations while maintaining the same public health standards that are currently expected of all airports across the country.

“Our seasonal service to Puerto Vallarta … is at risk again this year if this policy isn’t changed soon,” he wrote. “There doesn’t appear to be any reason that smaller, regional airports are being discriminated against by maintaining this policy.”

While the airport commission has sent letters to federal representatives requesting support for the airport to resume the international flight service, they also inquired with council “to add their voice to the debate.”

Mayor Russ Arnott made a motion for the town to write a letter of support which was unanimously approved.

Swoop Announces Major Expansion and Investment in Edmonton and Brings Nine New Routes to Alberta Capital

  • 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
Tom Ruth, President and CEO of Edmonton International Airport welcomes Swoop's newest aircraft #Edmonton (CNW Group/Swoop)
Tom Ruth, President and CEO of Edmonton International Airport welcomes Swoop’s newest aircraft #Edmonton (CNW Group/Swoop)

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.

From left to right (Juanita Marois, CEO, Métis Crossing, Tom Ruth, President & CEO, Edmonton International Airport, Charles Duncan, President of Swoop, Rajan Sawhney, Alberta Minister of Transportation, Rick Smith, Deputy Mayor of Leduc County, Tim Cartmell, City Councillor, City of Edmonton) (CNW Group/Swoop)
From left to right (Juanita Marois, CEO, Métis Crossing, Tom Ruth, President & CEO, Edmonton International Airport, Charles Duncan, President of Swoop, Rajan Sawhney, Alberta Minister of Transportation, Rick Smith, Deputy Mayor of Leduc County, Tim Cartmell, City Councillor, City of Edmonton) (CNW Group/Swoop)

“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.

#Edmonton

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.

 Domestic Routes

RoutePeak Weekly
Frequency
Start DateTotal one-
way fare
(CAD)
 †
Base Fare
(CAD)
Taxes and
Fees (CAD)
 
Edmonton – Halifax*5x weeklyMay 1, 2022$159$104.35$54.65
Edmonton – Charlottetown*2x weeklyJune 16, 2022$159$104.35$54.65
Edmonton – Kelowna*7x weeklyMay 5, 2022$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Ottawa*4x weeklyApril 25, 2022$59$9.12$49.88
Edmonton – Comox*3x weeklyJune 9, 2022$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Regina*2x weeklyJune 16. 2022$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Saskatoon*2x weeklyJune 14, 2022$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Moncton*2x weeklyJune 17, 2022$159$104.35$54.65
Edmonton – London3x weeklyJune 2, 2022$59$9.11$49.88
Edmonton – Winnipeg4x weeklyContinuing$160$105.30$54.69
Edmonton – Toronto14x weeklyContinuing$59$9.12$49.88
Edmonton – Hamilton7x weeklyContinuing$60$10.06$49.94
Edmonton – Abbotsford7x weeklyContinuing$49$1.59$47.41
Edmonton – Victoria7x weeklyContinuing$60$12.06$47.94
†Special introductory fares are limited quantity. Book by November 29, 2021 for travel between May 2 and June 22, 2022.

Transborder Routes

RoutePeak Weekly
Frequency
Start DateTotal one-
way fare
(CAD)
 †
Base Fare
(CAD)
Taxes and
Fees (CAD)
 
Edmonton – Las Vegas7x weeklyContinuing$99$8.84$90.16
Edmonton – Phoenix (Mesa)1x weeklyContinuing$110$18.36$91.63
† Book by November 29, 2021 for travel between May 2 and June 22, 2022.

New Service to Palm Springs

RoutePeak Weekly
Frequency
Start DateTotal one-
way fare
(CAD)
 †
Base Fare
(CAD)
Taxes and
Fees (CAD)
Edmonton – Palm Springs*2x WeeklyDecember 16, 2021$99$7.89$91.11
†Special introductory fares are limited quantity. Book by November 29, 2021 for travel between January 10 and February 19, 2022.

Supporting Quotes

“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

To learn more about Swoop please visit FlySwoop.com and for information on how Swoop is ensuring a safe and healthy travel experience visit FlySwoop.com/traveller-safety.

About Swoop

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.     

Source: Swoop 2022 Edmonton International Airport Economic Impacts performed by the Chris Lowe Group

Second low-cost carrier set to land at Comox Valley Airport

Swoop Airlines is set to service the Comox Valley Airport in June 2022. (Contributed)

From Comox Valley Record – link to source story – Thanks to CW

Swoop Airlines is set to service the Comox Valley Airport in June 2022. (Contributed)

Swoop Airlines arriving at YQQ in June 2022

ERIN HALUSCHAK | November 15, 2021

The Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) welcomes Swoop Airlines to the Comox Valley with service starting in June 2022.

“Swoop’s arrival will generate a lot of excitement for travellers looking for affordable options to reconnect with their friends and family,” said Mike Atkins, Comox Valley Airport’s CEO.

“We are delighted to have Swoop support travel to the Comox Valley, particularly for our tourism partners ready to welcome visitors to the spectacular region we serve.”

Swoop will commence three times weekly service from Edmonton, using their modern fleet of Boeing 737-800NG aircraft, on Thursday, June 9, 2022.

“We are thrilled to begin service to Comox Valley Airport with the announcement of our new non-stop service to Edmonton,” said Charles Duncan, president of Swoop. “With more than three million travellers having already experienced Swoop’s incredible service and ultra-low fares we are confident this new route will be a huge success.”

In October, Flair Airlines announced they will commence flying out of YQQ in March, 2022, with three weekly non-stop flights to both Edmonton and Calgary.

Established in 2018 as an independent subsidiary of the WestJet Group of Companies, Swoop – like Flair Airlines – is an Ultra Low-Cost Carrier (ULCC). ULCCs offer unbundled low base fares that only includes the seat; baggage, seat selection, snacks and carry-on bags come at additional fees.

On Vancouver Island, Swoop currently flies to the Victoria International Airport.