Saint John Airport is losing its only commercial flight

Just over a week ago it was learned we were within hours of losing our only commercial flight serving the airport. Today – it is about to become a reality. Air Canada has served notice it will suspend the daily flight between Saint John and Montreal effective January 11th.

The cut is one of a number the airline has announced for Atlantic Canada as the airline industry struggles with the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The airline is also suspending flights to Fredericton – Charlottetown – Deer Lake – and Halifax. The airline industry has been reeling from travel restrictions and passenger fear brought on by the pandemic. There have been calls for federal assistance for the beleaguered industry – but – so far nothing has been announced.

Meantime – airports in Atlantic Canada are also suffering from the loss of business and passenger traffic. Just last week airport CEO Derrick Stanford told Common Council the airport had gone almost 90-days without a flight from the beginning of the lockdown in March to when the one flight was restored in late Spring. Prior to the lockdown – the airport was handling about 17-flights a day.

Stanford who is also president of the Atlantic Canada Airports Association says the latest service cuts will be the death knell for some of the region’s smaller airports. He says the industry can’t survive and operate in these conditions. Stanford says this will have a huge impact on the region’s economy – the ability of families to reconnect – the movement of essential workers – and on airport employees and businesses.