Air Canada’s Summer 2022 Schedule Adjustments

2 July 2022 – Air Canada đź”—

This week, Air Canada announced changes to its summer schedule to support unprecedented and unforeseen strains on our organization. International flights are unaffected, with a few timing changes to reduce flying at peak times. Flights adjusted are to and from our Toronto and Montreal hubs. These will be mostly frequency reductions, affecting primarily evening and late-night flights by smaller aircraft, on transborder and domestic routes. Four routes will be temporarily suspended.

Temporary Route Suspensions:

Montreal – Kelowna
Montreal – Baltimore
Montreal – Pittsburgh
Toronto – Fort McMurray

Frequency Reductions

Toronto – Deer Lake: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 1 flight daily
Toronto – Saint John: reduce 2 frequencies, now operating 1 flight daily
Toronto – Charlottetown: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Toronto – Quebec City: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 4 flights daily
Toronto – North Bay: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 1 flight daily
Toronto – Timmins: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Toronto – Sudbury: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Toronto – London, ON: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 4 flights daily
Toronto – Windsor: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Toronto – Winnipeg: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 5 flights daily
Toronto – Edmonton: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 7 flights daily
Toronto – Calgary: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 11 flights daily
Toronto – Vancouver: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 14 flights daily
Toronto – Boston: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 6 flights daily
Toronto – LaGuardia: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 9 flights daily
Toronto – Newark: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 6 flights daily
Toronto – Baltimore: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Toronto – Philadelphia: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Toronto – Washington (DCA): reduce 1 frequency in August, will operate 2 flights daily (3 flights remain for July)
Toronto – Miami: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 1 flight daily
Toronto – San Francisco: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Montreal – Moncton: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Montreal – Fredericton: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Montreal – Saint John: reduce 1 frequency, now operating total 1flights
Montreal – Halifax: reduce 1 frequency in August, will operate total 3 flights daily (4 flights remain through August 3)
Montreal – Ottawa: reduce 2 frequencies, now operating 6 flights daily
Montreal – Quebec: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 4 flights daily
Montreal – Toronto (Island): no weekend operations and Friday reduced to 3 flights daily
Montreal – Edmonton: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Montreal – Calgary: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 4 flights daily
Montreal – Boston: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Montreal – LaGuardia: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 4 flights daily
Montreal – Newark: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 3 flights daily
Montreal – Fort Lauderdale: reduce 1 frequency, now operating 2 flights daily
Ottawa – Toronto (Island): no weekend operations

Route Retimes:

Montreal – Los Angeles
Montreal – Las Vegas
Montreal – Punta Cana
Montreal – Fort Lauderdale
Montreal – Winnipeg
Montreal – Edmonton
Toronto – Manchester
Toronto – Edinburgh
Toronto – Copenhagen
Vancouver – Portland
Vancouver – Regina
Vancouver – Cranbrook

Swoop Continues Canadian Expansion with new Saint John – Toronto Route

The ultra-not-expensive airline adds more connectivity for New Brunswick

SAINT JOHN, NB, May 12, 2022 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low cost airline, launched its inaugural flight to the Saint John Airport (YSJ) from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (YYZ). Swoop flight WO366 took off from Toronto this afternoon at 5:25 p.m. ET, receiving a warm welcome upon arrival in Saint John at 8:40 p.m. local time.

Earlier this week, Swoop marked its first flight into New Brunswick with an inaugural service between Hamilton and Moncton, and later this summer, the airline will launch service from Moncton to Edmonton. The leading ULCC is expanding rapidly across the country, focusing on Atlantic Canada, where demand for affordable air service has reached new heights.

“As Canada’s ultra-not-expensive airline, we are thrilled to continue our expansion in New Brunswick today with this inaugural flight to Saint John,” said Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial and Finance, Swoop. “We know that affordable air travel is integral to the restart and recovery of tourism and are pleased to expand our presence across Atlantic Canada this summer.”

“Swoop Airline’s arrival adds to the incredible momentum growing in our province while contributing to our economy and creating more jobs for New Brunswickers,” New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs said. “We know people are interested in visiting and moving to our beautiful province and having another option available for them to do so will help us as we continue to build on our success.”

“I’m excited to hear that Swoop Airlines is making its inaugural flight into Saint John Airport. This is further proof that our city is an important tourist destination and that our economic recovery is strong.” – Donna Noade Reardon, Mayor of Saint John

With introductory fares from Toronto to Saint John starting at just $49 CAD†, Swoop is showing Canadians just how affordable experiencing the east coast can be this summer.  

RouteStart DatePeak Weekly FrequencyOne-way total price (CAD)Base Fare (CAD)Taxes & Fees (CAD)
Toronto to Saint JohnMay 12, 20224x weekly$49$2.29$46.71
Saint John to TorontoMay 12, 20224x weekly$59$5.23$53.77

For travel between September 1 – October 15, 2022 | Seasonal start and end dates apply and are indicated in the booking flow. | Fares are valid until May 19, 2022 (11:59 p.m. MT) or while seats last. | Prices displayed above are subject to change and are not guaranteed until payment is made and accepted.

To learn more about Swoop and for flight schedules and bookings, please visit FlySwoop.com. 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 fleet of ten Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft will grow to 16 with the addition of six Boeing MAX-8 in 2022. At FlySwoop.com travellers can quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, track flights and access Wi-Fi service in-flight.

Government of Canada invests in safety at Saint John Airport

Transport Canada

SAINT JOHN, NB, March 1, 2022 /CNW/ – Canadians rely on safe and well-maintained local and regional airports to support vibrant communities. These airports also support essential air services including community resupply, air ambulance, search and rescue, and forest fire response.

Wayne Long, Member of Parliament for Saint John—Rothesay, on behalf of the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, today announced that the Government of Canada is making important safety investments at the Saint John Airport. 

Through Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP), the Government of Canada will provide the airport with more than $1.8 million to purchase critical safety equipment including:

  • an aircraft rescue firefighting vehicle;
  • a shelter to house and protect the firefighting vehicle;
  • a snowblower to keep airside surfaces clear; and
  • a runway surface friction tester.

This equipment will help maintain safe airport operations for aircraft, passengers, crews and airport workers.

This funding is in addition to the more than $500,000 in Airports Capital Assistance Program funding provided to the airport in May 2021, to support the rehabilitation of airside apron floodlighting and electrical constant current regulators.

Since the Airports Capital Assistance Program started in 1995, the Government of Canada has invested over $1.2 billion for 1,215 projects at 199 local, regional and smaller National Airports System airports across the country. Funded projects include runway and taxiway repairs/rehabilitation, lighting enhancements, purchasing snow clearing equipment and firefighting vehicles, and installing wildlife control fencing.

Quotes

“The Saint John Airport is an important hub for residents and businesses in this region. This investment will help maintain continued safe and reliable airport operations for folks in Southern New Brunswick, many of whom depend on their local airport not only for personal and business travel, but also for access to routine and emergency medical care in larger centres. Investing in smaller, regional airports like YSJ means that Saint John will continue to have access to major hubs for years to come.”

Wayne Long
Member of Parliament for Saint John—Rothesay

“The pandemic highlighted the important role Canada’s local and regional airports play in our country’s economy, and in sustaining the social and economic well-being of our communities. In addition to supporting personal travel, local and regional airports are key connectors for business, health care, social services, and emerging resource development sectors. These investments will improve access to safe, reliable and efficient air transportation options, and will help us deliver our commitment to build safer, healthier and stronger communities as Canada recovers from the pandemic.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

Quick Facts

  • As announced in the Fall Economic Statement 2020, the Airports Capital Assistance Program received a one-time funding top-up of $186 million over two years.
  • The Fall Economic Statement 2020 also announced the temporary expansion of eligibility for the Airports Capital Assistance Program to allow National Airports System airports with less than one million annual passengers in 2019 to apply for funding under the Program in 2021-2022 and 2022-2023.
  • The eligible National Airports System airports are: Gander; Charlottetown; Saint John; Fredericton; Moncton; Thunder Bay; London; and Prince George.

Associated Link

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca

Flair Airlines strengthens commitment to Kitchener-Waterloo with new aircraft and 50+ new jobs

  • Canada’s independent low fare airline will base a third aircraft in Kitchener-Waterloo
  • Each aircraft brings increased passengers, greater connectivity, and approximately 50 additional direct and indirect jobs to the region
  • New service to Charlottetown and Saint John from Kitchener-Waterloo starts in June

Kitchener, Ontario, February 23, 2022 – Today, Flair Airlines, Canada’s everyday low fare airline, announced the expansion of its base today at Region of Waterloo International Airport. A total of three aircraft will be based at the airport, bringing economic growth and greater connectivity to the region. With every new aircraft comes new routes, and Flair is pleased to add more destinations out of YKF, with the announcement of service to Charlottetown and Saint John, both beginning in June. Charlottetown will be flown two times per week on Thursdays and Sundays, while St. John will be flown three times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

“Kitchener-Waterloo is an incredibly important part of the Flair network and we’re excited to expand our base here,” said Stephen Jones, President and CEO, Flair Airlines. “Strengthening our ties with Region of Waterloo International Airport will allow us to serve more destinations from the airport in the future, as well as create new jobs for the region. As the airport completes extensive renovations, we feel that it is the perfect time to reaffirm our commitment to the region and grow with the airport.”

Flair first established a base in Region of Waterloo International Airport with two aircraft. Flair maintains bases in Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto, and Kitchener-Waterloo. The addition of the third aircraft will make Region of Waterloo International Airport one of Flair’s largest bases.

Each aircraft brings approximately 50 jobs to the region, bringing the total to approximately 150 jobs, both directly and indirectly, including customer service agents, ground handlers, cabin crews, maintenance staff, and more. From Kitchener-Waterloo, Flair flies to Calgary, Cancun, Edmonton, Fort Lauderdale, Halifax, Kelowna, Orlando-Sanford, Vancouver, and Winnipeg. Service to Deer Lake, Newfoundland begins in June.

Service to Charlottetown Airport begins on June 9, with service to Saint John beginning on June 8. One-way fares to Charlottetown and Saint John, including taxes and fees, begin at $29. There are limited seats and availability for the fares. Both routes are available for booking at https://www.flyflair.com.

About Flair Airlines

Flair Airlines is Canada’s leading low fare airline and its greenest airline, on a mission to provide 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 over 30 cities across Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. For more information, please visit http://www.flyflair.com.

Porter Airlines returns, Flair to expand service out of Saint John Airport

From CBC News – link to source story

Within weeks, travellers will also be able to book pre-flight COVID-19 tests at airport, acting CEO says

Marie Sutherland Â· CBC News Â· Posted: October 5, 2021

Porter Airlines service to Saint John Airport returns on Wednesday. (Porter Airlines)

Flight service is steadily ramping up at Saint John Airport since its reopening three months ago, with Porter Airlines set to return this week and Flair Airlines planning to expand its flight roster.

The airport, which saw all commercial flights cancelled in December amid pandemic travel restrictions, welcomed their return on June 29 with an Air Canada flight from Montreal.

Since then, acting CEO Greg Hierlihy said Monday, business has been brisk — driven almost entirely by leisure travel and the pent-up demand from individuals separated from loved ones â€” and is poised to get brisker.

On Wednesday, Porter Airlines flights return to Saint John, with afternoon service to Ottawa and on to Toronto.

“They are all set to go … six days a week to Ottawa and then on to [Toronto’s] Billy Bishop airport on Toronto Island,” Hierlihy said. Flights leave at 3:25 p.m. every day, with the exception of Saturdays.

And Flair Airlines, an ultra-low-cost carrier that chose Saint John as its only New Brunswick destination, is planning to expand its current two-day-a-week service to Toronto to three days a week in March of next year.

Flair Airlines plans to expand its flights from Saint John Airport to Toronto to three days a week next year, up from the two days a week currently offered. (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Those plans have been propelled by strong uptake on their flights, which now run Wednesday and Saturday. That’s changing to Tuesday and Saturday in November, and then to Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday next year, Hierlihy said.

“The uptake has been very good on that flight,” he said.

“We had several times during the month of August where it was sold out or virtually sold out. And we’re talking about, you know, a 189-seat jet.”

Even after Labour Day, when kids go back to school and family travel cools a bit, uptake has remained relatively strong.

“There’s been a bit of a decrease, but it still remained quite steady,” he said. “They’re really good numbers. So we’re we’re quite enthusiastic … about the possibilities there.”

Overall, he said, it’s an encouraging rebound after six punishing months.

If you’d asked me a few months ago, would I be happy with those numbers, I would have said yes, absolutely. It’s the start of the recovery.- Greg Hierlihy, Saint John Airport acting CEO

As of August, business at the airport is “at about 35 per cent of where we were” in August 2019, and indications so far are that that will increase to 50 per cent by the end of the year, Hierlihy said.

“If you’d asked me a few months ago, would I be happy with those numbers, I would have said yes, absolutely. It’s the start of the recovery.”

The return of business travel, which won’t likely happen until sometime in 2022, will provide another vital boost.

“We know that business travel is still very low at this point in time, so we’re waiting for that to bounce back,” Hierlihy said.

“That’s when you’ll really see our numbers come up.”

Saint John Airport acting CEO Greg Hierlihy says travellers will be able to take pre-travel COVID-19 tests at the airport within the coming weeks. (Credit: Brian Comeau)

COVID-19 travel tests will be available at YSJ

As travel increases, so will the demand for COVID-19 tests for passengers required to show proof of a negative test upon arrival at their destination.

Within the coming weeks, Hierlihy said, that service will be available at the Saint John Airport.

The airport has signed a lease contract with Distribution Ad Valorem, which currently offers the fee-for-service tests at the Moncton and Fredericton airports.

The company offers three testing options, including rapid antigen tests and the standard PCR tests, at a cost of between $149 and $299, depending on the type of test. The cost includes the provision of a certificate confirming date and time of testing, test result and passport number.

Hierlihy said the airport has taken several calls from travellers wondering where they can take the COVID-19 tests needed to comply with travel requirements.

“It’s hard to find that service in Saint John,” he said. “So we worked quickly to see if we could accommodate that in the airport.”

Hierlihy stressed that the tests are only for asymptomatic travellers, and must be prebooked online via the website of the airport offering the service.

Flair Airlines Extends Schedule Through Summer 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

Flair Airlines Focuses on Economic Recovery and Begins Long Awaited Ultra-Low-Cost Service in New Brunswick, Offering Fares Less than $50

Copyright (c) Hawthorn Photography

EDMONTON, Alberta, July 03, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Flair Airlines, Canada’s only independent ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC), continues its growth with the inaugural service at Saint John Airport (IATA: YSJ) in New Brunswick starting today.

“New Brunswick deserves more choices and competition for air travel. The only way we are going to restart the travel and tourism sector and contribute to the economic recovery is by ensuring affordable options exist now and in the future,” says Stephen Jones, President and CEO, Flair Airlines. “Residents of the Saint John area have been paying way too much for way too long. Flair is here to ensure low-fares and top-notch service are readily available so we can all begin to connect again with the people and experiences we love.”

Jacques Fournier, Director of Airport Commercial Development for Saint John Airport added “I am unbelievably pleased to see Flair Airlines coming into the Saint John market. They are the only ULCC coming into New Brunswick and will bring a great option for the traveling public for the entire province. “

Saint John is among several new destinations Flair is adding to its network as the airline grows to serve 20 Canadian cities. Fares are available for less than $50 one-way. With an ambitious goal to grow to 50 aircraft in 5 years, Flair is rapidly expanding as it brings ULCC service to Canadians.

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 20 cities across Canada. For more information, please visit http://www.flyflair.com

Minister of Transport celebrates return of regional routes to Saint John Airport

From Wikipedia

SAINT JOHN, NB, July 2, 2021 /CNW/ – Airports and airlines are essential in connecting Canadians, creating good jobs and growing our economy. We know the global COVID-19 pandemic has had major impacts on the air sector. That is why the government of Canada has supported and continues to support our airports and airlines.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, and Member of Parliament for Saint John—Rothesay, Wayne Long, were at the Saint John Airport to welcome the arrival of Air Canada’s inaugural reinstated direct flight to Saint John from Toronto. This direct Toronto-Saint John route, and many other regional routes across the country, were reinstated by Air Canada as a result of the financial support package provided to the airline by the government in April 2021. The Minister concluded his visit to New Brunswick by taking this Air Canada flight back to Toronto.

To further support the air sector in the region, the Minister announced that the Saint John Airport will receive over $1.13 million from Transport Canada’s Airport Relief Fund to help the airport recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to support continued essential air services for residents and workers in Saint John and its surrounding communities.  

In addition, the Minister highlighted that the Government of Canada is also providing the airport with $565,400 from Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program for the rehabilitation of the airfield’s apron floodlights and a device to regulate the electrical currents at the airport.

As we move forward with the safe, gradual return of activity in the aviation sector, both in Canada and internationally, it is imperative that we continue to ensure a vibrant and competitive Canadian air sector.

Quotes

“Keeping communities across Canada connected is a top priority. Today’s return of regular flights to Saint John is a direct result of the investment our Government has made into the airline sector. This financial support will ensure that, as Canada works towards recovery and travel restart post pandemic, the Saint John Airport will be able to offer regional accessibility, and safe, reliable and efficient air services for residents and workers in Saint John and its surrounding communities.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

“A vibrant and financially strong airport in Saint John is a critical part of our economy and is a key piece in our recovery. I am proud to advocate for our regional airports. Regional travel is critical in Atlantic Canada. Saint John Airport has worked hard to provide safe reliable travel in a post pandemic world for those here in New Brunswick and our government’s investment will help ensure they are equipped to serve the residents of Saint John and all of Canada.”

Wayne Long
Member of Parliament for Saint John—Rothesay

Quick Facts

  • On May 11, 2021, the Government of Canada launched the Airport Relief Fund which will provide $64.8 million for airports whose 2019 revenues were less than $250 million.
  • The amount of funding to each eligible recipient was calculated using a tiered formula-based approach, based on 2019 revenues.
  • Funding provided from the Airport Relief Fund must be used to cover activities that are directly related to the airport’s operations to ensure that the airport remains open to travellers and surrounding communities.
  • The Airports Capital Assistance Program is an existing contribution funding program which provides financial assistance to regional airports for safety-related capital infrastructure projects and equipment to ensure the continued safe operation of the airports for passengers, air crews and airport employees.
  • On May 11, 2021, the Minister announced that Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program was receiving a funding top-up of $186 million over two years and expanding its eligibility to larger airports like the Saint John Airport.

Related Products

Associated Links

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to e-news or stay connected through TwitterFacebookYouTube and Instagram to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.

This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.

SOURCE Transport Canada

PAL Airlines steps in to fill flight gap in N.L. after Air Canada’s departure

From CBC News – link to source story

Carrier adding 12 new routes, promising fares as low as $69

CBC News ·  Jun 17, 2021

Newfoundland and Labrador carrier PAL Airlines will fly as far as Ottawa starting this summer. (Submitted by PAL Airlines)

A Newfoundland and Labrador regional airline is stepping up to fill the void left by Air Canada’s departure from the majority of its routes in the province.

PAL Airlines, which flies small aircraft out of airports across the province, is on the brink of the largest expansion in the company’s history, adding 12 new routes to its schedule. The airline will unveil service to Halifax, Fredericton, Saint John, Charlottetown, Ottawa and several Quebec destinations.

They’ll be rolling out the new routes over the course of the summer as pandemic restrictions lift, says Janine Browne, the airline’s sales director.

Those routes had previously been serviced by Air Canada, which slashed flights to smaller communities across the country over the last year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. A spokesperson told CBC News in January that the airline’s overall capacity was down 80 per cent from the previous year at the time.

The pandemic has been “devastating” for the industry, Browne said, noting PAL managed to “weather the storm.”

“We were able â€¦ to continue serving all of our regions,” Browne said. “This is an essential service for many of the communities and towns and cities that we serve.”

While Air Canada announced Tuesday it will be reestablishing some routes in the province, PAL’s expansion breathes life into airports still grappling with the pandemic.

“Air access is absolutely essential to economic recovery,” she said.

The expansion also offers customers an easier travel experience, Browne suggests, with more connecting destinations and partnerships with both WestJet and Air Canada — allowing passengers to buy one ticket and check their luggage only once during their trip.

Ottawa eyeing steep fares

But even as provinces set their reopening plans in motion for this summer, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians face significantly fewer travel options, with remaining flights to major domestic destinations costing more than usual.

The price hike prompted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to tell local business owners earlier this month that Ottawa believed fares would fall as demand rises.

“We’re watching very closely on connections, we’re watching very closely on reopening, we’re watching the prices, we’re watching tourism,” Trudeau told the St. John’s Board of Trade.

“We’re watching all these different factors to make sure that if there are gaps or challenges that are going to slow our recovery that we address them.”

Browne said she expects passengers to see significantly lower fares as the new routes launch, with some tickets setting passengers back as little as $69.

There’s a catch, though. Despite the partnership with Air Canada, anyone booking a PAL flight can’t avail of Aeroplan points.

That may change in the coming months, however.

“Who knows what the future holds,” Browne said.