Air Canada plans to resume service to three northwest airports in late June, more than two months after temporarily suspending flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On its website, the airline says flights to Prince Rupert's Digby Island airport will resume June 22nd -- and to Smithers and Sandspit on Canada Day.
Prince Rupert Airport manager Rick Leach says commercial air flights are pretty much the only source of revenue for YPR.
"Our sole income comes from the Air Canada flights so with the total suspension of service to the city, we have zero revenue that really comes through the door, our private general aviation business is very small here in Prince Rupert and we only make money off the folks that travel on Air Canada, so it was devastating -- and if it had prolongued much past June 22nd, the financial implications would have been far greater than what they're going to be, which are still bad," said Leach.
Leach says this is welcome news, even if there are plenty of uncertainties ahead.
"I'm not sure how prolific bookings are going to be as we are still under the pandemic essentially but, its great to see them come back with a flight for Prince Rupert for sure
He says he's working with the Aviation Council and Association to talk to the governement about ways to help small airports with a recovery program.
He says he's not sure how busy flights will be once they resume in late June, but it'll be great to see them return.