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Comox Valley airport feels positive amid Air Canada flight cancellations

Despite a coming loss of flights due to Air Canada’s schedule changes, the Comox Valley Airport is looking ahead positively.

Air Canada announced this week that it will be making “meaningful” cuts in its schedule this summer, as it copes with delayed flights, missing luggage, and staff shortages.

The airline’s CEO, Michael Rousseau, said in an email to customers people are returning to air travel at an unprecedented rate and airlines can’t keep up.

He says Air Canada has to reduce its schedule to try to ease the burden on both staff and travellers.

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Air Canada is one of the many airlines that flies out of the Comox Valley Airport. Airport CEO Mike Atkins says the news means there will be a loss of flights coming out of the airport.

“What it means for Comox at the moment is it looks like we’re going to be dropping one of the flights for the day per day to Vancouver,” he said. “Seven flights a week, we’re missing the mid-morning flight.”

Atkins adds the early morning, mid-afternoon and late evening flights will still be available. A total of seven flights per week will be lost.

The airport is at around 75 per cent of its pre-pandemic numbers, according to Atkins. But he says with new challenges coming, they will have to adapt.

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Comox Valley Airport recently welcomed Swoop Airlines to their list. Atkins says this could help as West Jet also announced a drop in flights.

“West Jet has announced that they’re reducing 16 per cent of their capacity over the summer,” he said. “All the other connections to Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton, it makes up for some of the changes in the schedule for other airlines.”

Atkins adds travellers need to be extra patient at the moment in Canada and to plan well in advance.

“Don’t leave it to the last minute if you need to get somewhere for a specific event, plan a couple of days ahead,” he said. “There are challenges with the system, there are delays en route, and I don’t think anybody is getting anywhere where they wanted to go on time now.”

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