Safety remains priority as direct flights to Toronto resume

1 July 2021

As Canadian vaccination programs make significant progress, direct flights to Toronto have resumed on a limited basis at the Nanaimo Airport. Enhanced safety measures at the airport and on planes help ensure passenger safety.

The Air Canada Rouge flights are part of a measured reopening of the economy. They boost Vancouver Island’s vital tourism sector. Islanders can more easily visit and host family and friends from Eastern Canada and the Toronto Pearson International Airport.

The non-stop flights started after B.C.’s July 1 reopening date for domestic travel within Canada. One flight a week was initially scheduled. More flights may be added in August depending on the reopening plans and success of the vaccination programs in Canada.

Travellers fly aboard an Airbus 220, a narrow-body plane designed by Bombardier in Canada. It’s one of the most efficient and quietest planes in its class. It’s also the first Airbus 220 flight ever at the Nanaimo Airport. It accommodates up to 136 passengers.

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

This flight signals the restart of air travel and the domestic tourism sector on Vancouver Island. Nanaimo Airport will resume its role as the central Island’s gateway. Connecting flights put domestic destinations, business markets and employment opportunities within easy reach.

“It also shows that Air Canada has a vested interest in Nanaimo Airport by putting this route, and specifically this new aircraft, on our schedule as we prudently look to reopen our economy,” says Devana.

Passengers are being welcomed at the airport’s award-winning terminal building. The terminal expansion project won the Community Institutional Award of Excellence in the 2021 Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. The terminal earlier won an Illuminating Engineering Society award for interior lighting design.