Status of direct flights from Sask. to winter sun destinations up in the air
Direct flights from Saskatchewan to winter sun destinations are facing uncertainty while the Regina and Saskatoon airports await federal government permission to resume international flights.
Ottawa consolidated international flights in four Canadian cities at the start of the pandemic. The list expanded to nearly a dozen airports last summer, but Saskatchewan still isn’t back on the list.
Sunwing initially planned for direct charter flights to Mexico and the Dominican Republic out of Regina, starting in December. Shannan Schill with CAA travel said the uncertainty is having an impact on flight plans.
“WestJet Vacations had direct flights starting in November already. However they have made some changes to their program and those direct flights out of Regina now aren’t going to start until February,” Schill said.
Saskatchewan airports are negotiating behind the scenes to try and regain permission for international flights.
“It certainly is a challenging problem but we have been in touch and certainly have been in significant discussions with the agencies involved inclined with the decision making and we’re hopeful that we can see some changes in the future,” James Bogusz, the CEO of the Regina Airport Authority, said.
The Conservative opposition in Ottawa is urging a timely federal approval of international flights out of Saskatchewan.
“But unfortunately neither Regina nor Saskatoon is on the list of airports that will allow for international flights and what I am calling for is for the Liberal government to allow for the resumption of international flights in both the Regina and Saskatoon airports,” Michael Kram, the MP for Regina-Wascana, said.
Winter vacation plans won’t be ruined entirely if federal approval does not come, as connecting flights are still available from the majority of Canadian provinces.