Eleven regional airports in British Columbia receiving up to $11.7 million to maintain regional connectivity and jobs

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.

BC's regional airports get an economic boost (CNW Group/Western Economic Diversification Canada)
BC’s regional airports get an economic boost (CNW Group/Western Economic Diversification Canada)

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.

Quotes

“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

Projects being funded:

Legal NameCityFunding
Prince Rupert Airport AuthorityPrince Rupert$503,427
Comox Valley Airport CommissionComox$1,094,406
Victoria Airport AuthoritySidney$2,998,672
Central Coast Regional DistrictBella Coola$328,322
Prince George Airport Authority Inc.Prince George$1,297,965
Kamloops Airport Authority SocietyKamloops$1,256,378
North Peace Airport SocietyFort St. John$1,212,750
The Corporation of the Town of GoldenGolden$120,000
Terrace-Kitimat Airport SocietyTerrace$1,183,053
Nanaimo Airport CommissionCassidy$1,380,916
Nanaimo Port AuthorityNanaimo$345,832
Total:$11,721,721

Quick facts

  • The RATI, administered by the regional development agencies (RDAs), has a national budget of $206 million.
  • 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.
  • The RATI complements measures implemented by Transport Canada.

Associated links

Skip the long drive by flying out to your B.C. destination this summer

Thanks to CW

7 July 2021

Central Mountain Air is running non-stop flights from Vancouver to Vancouver Island, the Cariboo region, the Okanagan Valley, and Central B.C.

central-mountain-air-1Kelowna, B.C.Central Mountain Air

Really want to make a great escape from the city but NOT looking forward to that long car ride in the hot summer heat? Opt to hop on a plane to your getaway spot instead!

Now that non-essential travel within B.C. is encouraged again, Vancouverites can book inter-provincial non-stop flights with Central Mountain Air for a quick and affordable way to get around the province this year.

Departing from the South Terminal at Vancouver International Airport (YVR), passengers can fly direct from Vancouver to Campbell River, Quesnel, Kamloops, Kelowna, and Prince George. 

Then, from Prince George, you can also fly further up Northern B.C. with routes to Fort. St. John, Fort Nelson, and Terrace.  


Campbell River, B.C. Photo: Central Mountain Air.

Here’s a quick primer of the cities that Central Mountain Air currently flies to from Vancouver.  

  • On the east coast of Vancouver Island, the oceanside community of Campbell River and the Discovery Islands are renowned for its spectacular mountains, west coast woodlands, Elk Falls Provincial Park and Suspension Bridge, whale watching, and salmon fishing at Discovery Pier.
     
  • Located along a pivotal mining trail of the Cariboo Gold Rush, Quesnel is home to B.C. heritage spots such as the Alexander Mackenzie hiking trail and the original 1867 Hudson’s Bay Company Trading Post in Riverfront Park.
     
  • The sunny canyon city of Kamloops in B.C.’s Interior is a four-season playground with long summers for hiking, biking, and water adventures. Go kayaking on one of Kamloops’ 100+ lakes and embark on outdoor adventures at Sun Peaks Resort.
     
  • Located on the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake, Kelowna is the Okanagan Valley’s largest city and is known for local vineyards and wineries, sandy beaches, surrounding provincial parks, and bustling downtown area — making it the perfect destination for urban and rural experiences.
     
  • The largest city in Northern B.C, Prince George is full of opportunities for outdoor recreation, from mountain biking through pristine rainforests to fishing in the endless network of streams, lakes, and rivers. It’s also the basecamp for venturing into Northeastern B.C. and Northwestern B.C. towards Fort St. John, Fort Nelson, and Terrace.  


Fly with CMA! Photo: Central Mountain Air.

Connecting B.C. communities with ease and convenience since 1987, the independent Western Canadian airline is giving local B.C. residents a chance to go back to travelling and exploring their backyard. 

And, to further ensure that you can book your flight with confidence, Central Mountain Air has extended their COVID-19 flexible booking and cancellation policy until July 31st for travel through to November 7th, so you can have peace of mind knowing you can make changes to your flight reservation if you need to. ⁠

For more info, visit flycma.com/schedule.

WestJet reconnecting routes across British Columbia

Airline to restart eight routes and inaugurate new flights between nine communitiesby early July

CALGARY, AB, June 25, 2021 /CNW/ – WestJet is further restoring British Columbia’s domestic and interprovincial connectivity with the restart of eight routes to and from destinations across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. The airline is also set to inaugurate 10 new routes by July 5, 2021. Full schedule details and resumption dates are outlined below.

“We continue to work towards the restoration of our pre-COVID domestic network to ensure that when our guests are ready to travel, we are there for them,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “WestJet remains committed to building back stronger for the betterment of all Canadians and as we look ahead to reconnecting friends, family and loved ones, the safe restart of travel is essential to Canada’s economic recovery.”

WestJet’s investments are critical to ensuring British Columbia’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and by the end of June, the airline is set to inaugurate new flights between Abbotsford and Prince George and restore WestJet Link service between Vancouver and Cranbrook.

“As a leader in aviation, WestJet has been working with industry, tourism and business across the province to ensure their voices are being heard as we safely restart travel. We thank Premier Horgan and his government for prioritizing travel as a critical component of the government’s restart plan. While progress has been made in British Columbia, we continue to advocate for safe travel framework from the Government of Canada,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President.

This July, WestJet will offer non-stop service from Vancouver to 18 cities, from Victoria to eight cities, from Kelowna to seven cities, from Comox to four cities and from Nanaimo to three cities. From the communities of Kamloops, Penticton and Prince George, the airline will connect to two communities non-stop.

Love Where You’re Going Again – WestJet’s Latest Video

For more than 17 months, Canadians from coast-to-coast have been separated from the people and places they love. WestJet’s latest brand moment is a reminder to Canadians that it’s time to love where they’re going, again.

British Columbia route restarts between now and June 30, 2021

RoutePeak FrequencyRoute restart date
Victoria – Winnipeg *3x weeklyJune 24, 2021 
Kelowna – Regina *2x weeklyJune 24, 2021 
Nanaimo – Vancouver  2x dailyJune 25, 2021 
Nanaimo – Edmonton *2x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Comox – Vancouver  2x dailyJune 25, 2021 
Kelowna – Saskatoon *2x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Kelowna – Victoria  4x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Vancouver – Cranbrook  1x dailyJune 25, 2021 
Abbotsford – Prince George *2x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Prince George – Calgary  4x weeklyJune 25, 2021 
Victoria – Ottawa * 1x weeklyJune 26, 2021 
Comox – Edmonton 5x weeklyJune 26, 2021 
Comox – Toronto *1x weeklyJune 26, 2021 
Victoria – Saskatoon *2x weeklyJune 27, 2021 
Victoria – Toronto2x weeklyJune 30, 2021
Penticton – Edmonton * 2x weeklyJuly 4, 2021
Kamloops – Edmonton *2x weeklyJuly 5, 2021
Vancouver – Fort St. John 4x weeklyJuly 13, 2021
*New Route

About WestJet 

In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

BC Wildfire airtankers depart Fort St John airport for practice

From Energeticity.ca/moosefm.ca – link to source story

Tre Lopushinsky | May 16, 2021

(BC WIldfire)

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Early Sunday afternoon, BC Wildfire service tankers departed North Peace Regional Airport to conduct practice drops.

The drops took place approximately 50km west of Hudsons Hope, says BC Wildfire.”

Early season practices are important for air attack officers and the tankers groups to remain proficient and prepared to respond to active wildfires. Practices also provide an opportunity to ensure that the aircraft is mechanically sound and ready to respond,” says BC Wildfire in a social media post.

Central Mountain Air Releases Summer Flight Schedule

DSC_7413 (1) (1).jpg

(SMITHERS, BC May 11, 2021) Central Mountain Air responds to the need to provide air service to communities by adding 78 flights per week. 

Grande Prairie, High Level and Quesnel added to network.

Flights per weeks
8 – Edmonton YEG | Fort St John YXJ
8 – Edmonton YEG | Grande Prairie YQU
4 – Edmonton YEG | High Level YOJ
4 – Edmonton YEG | Prince George YXS
5 – Edmonton YEG | Fort Nelson YYE
5 – Edmonton YEG | Terrace YXT
5 – Kamloops YKA | Prince George YXS
5 – Kamloops YKA | Fort Nelson YYE
6 – Kamloops YKA | Fort St John YXJ
6 – Kamloops YKA | Terrace YXT
5 – Kelowna YLW | Prince George YXS
5 – Kelowna YLW | Fort Nelson YYE
6 – Kelowna YLW | Fort St John YXJ
6 – Kelowna YLW | Terrace YXT
4 – Prince George YXS | Fort Nelson YYE
5 – Prince George YXS | Fort St John YXJ
5 – Prince George YXS | Terrace YXT
4 – Prince George YXS | Grande Prairie YQU
4 – Quesnel YQZ | Castlegar YCG
6 – Vancouver YVR | Castlegar YCG
3 – Vancouver YVR | Kamloops YKA
3 – Vancouver YVR | Kelowna YLW
5 – Vancouver YVR | Quesnel YQZ
6 – Vancouver YVR | Prince George YXS
6 – Vancouver YVR | Edmonton YEG
6 – Vancouver YVR | Fort Nelson YYE
7 – Vancouver YVR | Fort St John YXJ
7 – Vancouver YVR | Terrace YXT

Central Mountain Air (CMA) announced today that it will increase its scheduled service by 78 flights per week beginning June 28th, 2021, and continuing through to November 6, 2021. Many of these flights will service connections that were originally suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CMA is also expanding the available days of the week on their existing schedule, with an emphasis on new Friday and Sunday flight options.

 “CMA has been contacted by both individuals and community leaders to provide service to enable their communities to recover and receive air connectivity after scheduled service reduced over 80% due to COVID-19. I commend these municipalities and airports for their willingness to partner and support their regions to help make this announcement today,” commented Michael Claeren, Central Mountain Air’s Head of Commercial.  

 “These communities are concerned about their future as they face the prospect of being left without or with limited air service, especially at a time when their regional economies have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding hardship.”  

 Although COVID-19 rates are still high, CMA is optimistic that essential travel guidance will be eased as British Columbia, Alberta, and Canada continue on the road to recovery with more vaccines being administered daily. CMA will still offer a flexible booking and cancellation policy for bookings until June 20th, 2021 for travel through to November 7th, 2021. 

 Bob Cummings, CEO added, “CMA will apply the same operational discipline for which it has a reputation to all the new routes and capacity. This will help nurse communities back to full recovery as the pandemic subsides. While many of the affected regional cities have been impacted by this announcement there are more cities and services to come.”

CMA is the independent regional airline leader in British Columbia and Alberta with 29 aircraft and looks forward to more fully utilizing that fleet.  

To celebrate their summer flight schedule launch, CMA is offering 10% off base airfares using promo code SUMMER21.

The promo code is valid for all scheduled flights starting June 01, 2021 with no blackout periods. This deal is only available on bookings through the CMA website and is not available through your travel agent. CMA has extended its Flexible Booking and Cancellation Policy for bookings until June 20, 2021 for travel through to November 7, 2021 to give you peace of mind when making your booking.  

Book from May 11, 2021 until May 25, 2021 @ 11:59PM PST 

For travel between June 01, 2021, and November 6, 2021 

See CMA’s full schedule at flycma.com/schedule

About Central Mountain Air Ltd.  

Established in 1987, CMA is a Western Canadian privately owned and operated company. CMA provides scheduled flights to twelve communities, cargo to ten, and charter flights throughout British Columbia, Alberta, and Western Canada. For more information, and to learn about CMA’s enhanced COVID-19 safety procedures, visit flycma.com.