Edmonton International Airport is preparing to welcome more travelers again, following Monday’s announcement of the easing of border restrictions.
On Monday, the federal government announced that U.S. citizens and permanent residents who wish to come to Canada for non-essential reasons and who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be allowed to do so starting August 9.
Fully vaccinated travelers from other countries will be allowed to come from September 7.
Canada to allow fully vaccinated U.S. Pleasure Travelers starting August 9
This means that the EIA is only weeks away from accepting and offering international flights for the first time in 16 months. On August 9, the EIA will once again be open to international travel.
“It’s really important to us,” said Traci Bednard, vice president of corporate and digital communications at EIA.
The airport was hit hard when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and closed international flights to the facility. The airport typically offers between 53 and 55 non-stop destinations, but that number fell to 13 when the pandemic hit.
International flights returning to Edmonton Airport
As a result, the number of passengers fell.
“On a normal day, we could serve around 10,000 departing passengers. In COVID, during really tough times, we could serve around 300. But we’re now up to around 5,000 departing passengers per day, ”Bednard said.
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In the past two weeks alone, Bednard said activity at the airport has gradually started to increase. Airlines announced new routes to Canada, but Bednard said it would take time and work to attract more international flights.
“We will need to continue to work hard for some key business destinations in the United States and our international services,” she explained.
“We have never stopped talking, pleading with the airlines. Really for us, what we consider to be quite optimistic is that our community has stepped forward and the region has invested in an air services fund.
Edmonton will no longer receive international flights as of Wednesday
The city of Edmonton recently committed $ 10 million to this fund, which aims to attract more international destinations to the airport. The surrounding municipalities have also mobilized.
“We are also working with our chambers of commerce and businesses to collectively demonstrate that air service is the top economic recovery priority for this region and that is an important message for airlines,” Bednard said.
“Whether it’s companies trying to import products, whether it’s companies trying to get to the United States, or international destinations to visit their customers, we really need to see this restoration. “
Know before you go
As travel intensifies across the country, the EIA recognizes that many people have not traveled since last March and that there have been a lot of changes, especially when it comes to international travel.
Permanent residents and citizens of Canada and US citizens who are fully vaccinated will need to download the ArriveCan app before returning to Canada. Then, they must upload their proof of vaccination into the app before returning to Canada, along with proof of a negative PCR test.
“For many of us we haven’t been on a plane for a year and a half and of course now with the easing of border restrictions we will be able to travel abroad and there are things that people need to know. “
WestJet does not seek financial assistance from the federal government
On its website, the airport offers EIA 101 Travel School, which will help passengers know what has changed and what they need to know before leaving on a trip.
As of August 9, airports in Halifax, Quebec City, Ottawa and Winnipeg will also be added to the list of Canadian cities where international flights are allowed to land.
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