PEI

Charlottetown Airport sees airlines adding extra flights, extra seats

Charlottetown Airport will have four airlines bringing in planes by early August, and CEO Doug Newson is excited to see the recovery starting after a long pandemic slump.

Airlines optimistic about travel to P.E.I., says airport CEO

Passengers disembarking, July 14, 2021 (Tony Davis/CBC)

Charlottetown Airport will have four airlines bringing in planes by early August, and CEO Doug Newson is excited to see the recovery starting after a long pandemic slump.

"We can see already this coming weekend, on Sunday and Monday, we've got passenger loads that are over 100 people on certain flights. So that's encouraging. You know, we haven't seen that here in a long time," said Newson.

"Even if we don't see 2021 as busy as 2019, it'll certainly be better than 2020."

Pandemic travel restrictions for people coming into P.E.I. put a virtual halt to traffic at Charlottetown Airport. At one point it was down to two flights a day, arriving from and departing to Montreal.

P.E.I. reopening

On Sunday P.E.I. will open to all fully-vaccinated Canadians without the need for self-isolation, and airlines are responding to the expected demand for travel. WestJet has flights several days a week to Toronto and is adding a non-stop Calgary flight. PAL will soon be flying direct to Halifax and Flair to Toronto.

Charlottetown Airport CEO Doug Newson is looking forward to further rebuilding in 2022. (Laura Meader/CBC)

"We're not sure exactly what August or September will hold, but we know that all the airlines are adding extra flights and extra seats," said Newson.

"They're obviously optimistic that travel will start to recover."

It's been a quiet 16 months at the airport, he said, but activity is beginning to pick up, with airline staff, cleaners and commissionaires returning to work.

Newson does not expect any further announcements of flights this summer, but he is looking forward to starting to rebuild on the record years for traffic that preceded 2020 next spring.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Laura Meader

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