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Air Canada flights planned to resume June 22

Air Canada plans to resume flights between Fort St. John and Vancouver starting on June 22. The airline suspended its operations in the city on April 2 has updated its route schedules affected by COVID-19.
Air Canada Express Bombardier Q-400 aircraft
Air Canada Express Bombardier Q-400 aircraft.

Air Canada plans to resume flights between Fort St. John and Vancouver starting on June 22.

The airline suspended its operations in the city on April 2 has updated its route schedules affected by COVID-19. One flight per day between the two cities will start on June 22. 

WestJet has extended its suspension of flights to Vancouver through to July 4. Flights continue to Calgary.

Central Mountain Air is still reporting a return to scheduled commercial service on June 8.

Nav Canada has suspended overnight air navigation services in Fort St. John. Affected airports will remain open and aircraft will continue to be able to land and depart.

Fort St. John airport officials say this won’t affect medevacs or traffic coming into the airport. All the navigation aids and runway lighting will still be in service, and the airport will be monitored remotely from Edmonton.

Air Canada said May 15 it would lay off more than half of its 38,000 employees in June as it struggles with COVID-19 pandemic fallout. The layoffs, announced for June 7, will affect at least 19,000 staff and could go as high as 22,800.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was repeatedly asked May 16 in his daily news conference if Ottawa would bailout or perhaps nationalize the struggling company, which has had to slash flight capacity by 95%, grounding 225 planes.

Trudeau said discussions remain ongoing with large companies such as Air Canada in order to assist them stay afloat.

“We know there is a big challenge right now for these companies – including the airlines,” Trudeau said. “We know that more needs to be done.”

Air Canada in March decided to let go of nearly half of its workforce in a cost-reduction scheme. It then rehired about 16,500 laid-off flight attendants, mechanics and customer service agents in April under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. However, the company has not committed to participate in that program past June 6.

— with a report from Jeremy Hainsworth in Vancouver

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.