Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau is being credited with a last minute intervention to get Air Canada to maintain the only daily flight at the airport. Airport CEO Derrick Stanford told Common Council tonight the airline was within hours of cancelling the direct flight to and from Montreal. The flight was restored earlier this year after the airport went almost 90-days with no commercial flights when the COVID pandemic and associated lockdowns were declared in mid-March. Stanford says the airport used to handle about 17-flights a day.
Stanford says the airport will play an important role in the economic recovery following the pandemic. The airport – like others in the region – is taking a significant financial hit thanks to the loss of scheduled flights. The federal government announced financial aid for airports today – but – Stanford says the airlines are also looking for some financial support.
Stanford appeared before council asking for and receiving approval for a letter of support to Ottawa and Fredericton asking for support for airlines to sustain service and implementation of safe rapid COVID testing at the airport.