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Direct flights to Toronto resume at Nanaimo Airport in July

The non-stop flights start July 4
Nanaimo Airport. (News Bulletin file photo)

As travel restrictions lift across the country, the Nanaimo Airport announced that it will resume direct flights to Toronto on a limited basis beginning in July.

In a press release, the Nanaimo Aiport said that Air Canada’s flights are part of a “measured reopening of the economy” and that the flights will provide a much-needed boost for the Island’s tourism and hospitality sector.

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“Air Canada is a valued partner that supported Nanaimo Airport during the pandemic and continues to support us during reopening,” Dave Devana, President and CEO of Nanaimo Airport Commission said. “We share a commitment to safety and have comprehensive plans to ensure passengers can travel safely while reconnecting with family and friends.”

The non-stop flights start July 4, after B.C.’s July 1 planned reopening date for domestic travel within Canada. One flight a week is scheduled initially. The schedule may expand in August depending on the reopening plans and success of the vaccination programs in Canada.

Air Canada will also resume its service to Calgary starting July 1, with five flights planned per week. The airline’s Nanaimo services will return to all three airports it served in summer 2019: Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.

“With Canada’s ongoing vaccine roll-out acceleration together with various provincial governments’ reopening plans that include travel, this summer is looking brighter,” said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada.

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“As customers are ready to travel, Air Canada is taking a leadership position to support our partners in Canada’s tourism and hospitality sector with service to 50 destinations from coast to coast, the re-start of regional services and new, non-stop flights. We are thrilled to resume our non-stop flights from Nanaimo to both Toronto and to Calgary, offering additional choices to and from Vancouver Island.”

President and CEO of Tourism Vancouver Island, Anthony Everett said that the return of these flights is a positive sign for the Island.

“Air access to Vancouver Island is a critical component for the long-term recovery of the tourism industry in our region,” he said.

The return of service to Toronto comes as WestJet announced it would resume service from Nanaimo to Edmonton beginning in late June on Fridays and Sundays.