Kamloops Airport looking to fill Vancouver void left by Air Canada's departure

YKA looks for route to YVR

Kamloops Airport is weighing its options for a Vancouver connection after Air Canada on Tuesday announced it was suspending its Fulton Field operations indefinitely.

YKA managing director, Ed Ratuski told Castanet Kamloops there's already a frontrunner.  

“We were talking with Pacific Coastal prior to this for what kind of service enhancements might be possible,” Ratuski says.  

“So I know they are looking at it to see if it may be an option for them to enter the market to fill that void. We’re definitely talking with all our airline partners to ensure that passengers have the service that they need for the essential travel that’s being impacted here.” 

Ratuski wasn’t completely taken aback by Air Canada’s decision to withdraw from Kamloops. As provinces impose tougher restrictions, province to province travel continues to have greater limitations. 

“It’s unfortunate but not completely surprising given the additional travel restrictions that came out at the end of December imposed by the federal government,” Ratuski says. “And then the ongoing and increasing lock downs in different provinces where they are requesting that people not travel inter-provincially.” 

Air Canada's service between Kamloops and Vancouver had been one of two major commercial routes at Fulton Field — the other being WestJet's service to Calgary, which saw slight reductions in frequency last week. 

“It’s probably one of our busier ones, between Calgary and Vancouver, those two routes are our primary routes out of Kamloops,” Ratuski says.  “So yeah, it’s definitely going to have an impact here in terms of the availability to the coast from Kamloops that’s for sure.”

Air Canada had been the only airline flying between Kamloops and Vancouver. The carrier will cease operations in Kamloops indefinitely starting Jan. 23.

Kamloops city council passed a motion at its regular meeting on Tuesday supporting Mayor Ken Christian in lobbying carriers to re-establish flights between Kamloops and YVR.

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