PEI

Flair Airlines 'light at the end of the tunnel' for Charlottetown Airport

Charlottetown Airport received some good news for a change Wednesday with the announcement that Flair Airlines would begin service to Toronto starting in June.

'I can imagine this being a year-round service,' says Flair CEO

2020 was the slowest year on record at Charlottetown Airport. (John Robertson/CBC)

Charlottetown Airport received some good news for a change Wednesday with the announcement that Flair Airlines would begin service to Toronto starting in June.

The airport began 2020 with expectations for another record year for traffic, but the pandemic saw airline after airline cancel flights. Charlottetown is currently down to one flight daily, linking the Island to Montreal.

Airport CEO Doug Newson is hopeful the Flair announcement is the beginning of recovery.

"Any positive news is good. And it's a bit of a sign that hopefully we are starting to rebuild and starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel," said Newson.

"We know it's going to be a long road to recovery, to get back to where we were. And there's still some difficult days ahead. But, you know, it does give us hope."

Charlottetown was one of eight cities added to the Flair network.

The Charlottetown schedule is already up on the Flair website, with flights to Toronto on Mondays and Fridays starting June 4. The discount airline is offering a round trip for as low as $98.27.

The announcement is a sign airlines are still keen to serve Charlottetown, says airport CEO Doug Newson. (CBC)

The announcement covers the schedule from May to October, but Flair CEO Stephen Jones said the Charlottetown flights could well extend beyond that.

"I can imagine this being a year-round service," said Jones.

"All of the services are dependent upon the performance. Obviously we'll really be looking for the people of Charlottetown to come and support this."

Jones said the airline will be looking to build a relationship with the people of P.E.I. Flair is offering brand-new planes, and Jones promised excellent customer service from Flair flight attendants.

Jones acknowledged it is possible that travel restrictions will be such in June that they will have to delay the launch of the service, but he said the airline has to move now in order to give people time to book. The company is offering complimentary COVID coverage to allow travellers to change their plans.

While there is still uncertainty, Newson said the announcement is a good sign that airlines still see Charlottetown as a market they want to serve as travel resumes after the pandemic.

More from CBC P.E.I.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kevin Yarr is the early morning web journalist at CBC P.E.I. You can reach him at kevin.yarr@cbc.ca.

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