Monday,  April 12, 2021  2:10 pm

"A really positive week": Air Canada restoring select Atlantic Canada routes in June

"A really positive week": Air Canada restoring select Atlantic Canada routes in June
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

As WestJet moves to restore routes in Atlantic Canada and Quebec this June, Air Canada, too, has begun to rebuild its network at Maritime airports.

As part of its 2021 summer schedule, which you can view here, Air Canada has posted key routes that are returning to Atlantic Canada in June.

In January, Canada’s flag carrier reduced its capacity by an additional 25 per cent, which led to suspending service in Gander, N.L., Goose Bay, N.L., and Fredericton, N.B.

Air Canada service to Sydney, N.S., and Saint John, N.B., too, was previously suspended.

READ MORE: Air Canada restores select Caribbean/Mexico, other int'l routes in May schedule

But now, it appears the airline will return to Eastern Canada this summer, posting routes for Saint John, Fredericton, and Sydney, with reported plans of increasing flights from Moncton and Charlottetown that same month.

Previously-suspended routes, such as Gander–Halifax, Toronto-Sydney, and Fredericton-Toronto, are all set to resume, giving hope to Eastern Canada airports that have seen little to no activity in 2021.

Johanne Gallant, president and CEO of the Fredericton International Airport, which hasn't seen an Air Canada flight since Jan. 23, told CTV News that "It's been a really positive week.”

Saint John Airport hasn’t seen an Air Canada flight since Jan. 11, and with WestJet’s earlier announcement, the airport is expecting a pent-up demand once flights return.

"Through the WestJet announcement yesterday and what (Premier Blaine Higgs) has said about a target date of opening to the rest of Canada by the end of July, that gives us a lot of confidence too for the summer time," Greg Hierlihy, the Saint John Airport's interim president and CEO, told CTV.

WestJet, on March 24, announced that it is bringing back flights to Charlottetown, Fredericton, Moncton, Sydney and Quebec City starting in June.

Air Canada’s return to Eastern Canada compliments previously-reported news that the airline, starting in May, will restore select flights to Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and more routes to the United States.

Visit Air Canada’s COVID-19 information hub here for more details.

The spring/summer schedule comes as Canadian airlines, in corporation with the Government of Canada, still maintain a voluntary suspension of flights to Mexico and the Caribbean – an agreement that is in place until at least April 30.

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