Sydney Airport CEO encouraged by entry of new regional airline
Sydney Airport CEO JA Douglas McCurdy is excited about the resumption of air travel in the Atlantic region, and he is particularly excited about the new arrival of an airline from Newfoundland and Labrador.
Mike MacKinnon said the arrival of PAL Airlines in the Maritimes will create jobs and add options for travelers.
“Before the pandemic, the airport itself had around 140 direct jobs at the airport … with the different entities working here and we’re below 30 now, so everything is going to be an improvement over where we are. have been for the last year at 14, 15 months, ”he said.
Commercial flights have been closed at Atlantic airports since January. They were due to restart at the end of May, but the third wave of the pandemic put that on hold.
PAL Airlines has announced that it will depart from Halifax, Charlottetown and Fredericton starting at the end of June and that its inaugural flight from Sydney, Nova Scotia will take place on June 28.
WestJet plans to restart Sydney-Halifax flights on June 28, while Air Canada has announced it will resume Sydney-Toronto and Montreal flights on June 26 and Sydney-Halifax on July 1.
MacKinnon said adding more flight choices to Sydney would boost travelers’ confidence.
“This is the road to recovery,” he said. “It is encouraging to see that we have a new carrier that will operate interregional routes around Atlantic Canada and that is great for our airport.”
Janine Browne, director of business development and sales at PAL Airlines, said the company has identified gaps in the regional market and already has the equipment and people to fill them.
“It’s a huge expansion,” she said.
“Our team is very excited that during this difficult time we are able to do this.”
The airline departs from Sydney with a 37-seat Dash 8 that can also carry cargo.
“ People are really, really looking forward to traveling, ” PAL spokesperson says
Browne said the company was ready to operate in a new environment, given different health restrictions in each province.
“We’re obviously keeping a close eye on government restrictions and respecting that, but we think it’s going to be a good time and we think people are really, really eager to travel,” she said.
“People are looking to get on this plane. People are looking to get in the air and fly.”
PAL announced plans to leave Sydney on Tuesday morning and by noon had already taken reservations, Browne said.
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