A long five months have flown by — it seems — since Windsor International Airport closed its terminal to traffic back in April.
Starting Sept. 8, two daily Air Canada flights will return for a quick getaway — to Toronto.
“Everything that we could to do provide some peace of mind for the travelling public, that’s what we’re doing,” said Mark Galvin, CEO of Windsor International Airport.
Galvin says changes have been made including sneeze guards, dedicated entrance and exits, more hand sanitizer stations and mandatory masks.
“Every transaction that someone has, from parking all the way in, to try to mitigate the risk,” he said.
The last five months saw hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses, according to Galvin.
“Is there an impact? Of course there’s an impact it we’re not alone in that,” he said. “Every airport every airline has had a significant impact but it’s not just our sector obviously there’s been impacts all across.”
Beverly Power at Carlson Wagonlit on Ouellette Avenue says there’s pent up demand for international travel, noting Windsor is full of frequent flyers.
“I think the restaurants and eh travel industry are probably on par with being the worst hit,” she said. “But the people who are not used to traveling, who maybe go once every year, once every two, three, four years, they are really hesitant to get on a plane.”
Power says the pandemic threw a wrench in what looked like her agency’s best year on the books in more than three decades.
“If we had continued our year on a level that we were going without this pandemic, our year, our total sales at the end of our fiscal year would have probably doubled, almost tripled what we ever produced,” she said.
YQG airport officials say they’re in regular talks with partnering airlines to return to the runway soon.
“We’re looking at a gradual curve for recovery and will it take some time? Yes, again I think people want to travel we get calls every day,” Galvin said. “Through this period we get calls every day.”