The federal government has announced that eight regional airports across the country will be allowed to resume international flights on Nov. 30, in time to capture a good part of the sunspot traffic that makes up a big part of their winter flights. The airports that will be allowed to resume those flights, as well as hops to U.S. destinations are: St. John’s, Hamilton, Kitchener/Waterloo, Regina, Saskatoon, Kelowna, Abbotsford and Victoria. Through most of the pandemic, all international flights have been funneled through Pearson, Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver where quarantine systems were put in place.
The expansion of international flights came after howls of protest from local chambers of commerce and airport authorities that they were excluded when Ottawa started relaxing international travel restrictions. Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said the turning tide of COVID infections allowed him to loosen the restrictions. “Increased vaccination levels have allowed us to safely re-open these additional Canadian airports to international passenger flights,” Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said in a media release. “This measure will help ensure that travellers are able to access more regional airports for their international travels this winter, while continuing to support the Government of Canada’s measured approach to re-opening our border.”