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Coronavirus: Air Canada suspends 2 routes at YLW because of COVID-19 pandemic

Kelowna International Airport says travelers should check online to see if their flight schedules have been changed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Global News

UPDATE: On Friday, Pacific Coastal Airlines announced that starting Tuesday, the company will be implementing a temporary suspension of all its operations because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In a press release, company president Quentin Smith said the suspension is a temporary measure only, and that Pacific Coastal will “continue to monitor the situation with the aim of re-establishing operations and recalling employees as soon as we are able.”

He added “I recognize the impact this will have on the people and the communities we so proudly serve, but given the rapidly deteriorating situation and uncertain future, we have no other choice but to take this drastic step to ensure the health and safety of our employees and the public, and the financial survival of our airline.”

Notably, Pacific Coastal said it will continue to operate WestJet Link under the guidance and direction of WestJet.

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ORIGINAL STORY:

Two flights at Kelowna International Airport have been suspended because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

This week, Air Canada announced that the Kelowna to Edmonton flight and the Kelowna to Toronto flight will undergo temporary suspensions, both from March 23 to April 30.

The suspensions were just two of many announced by Air Canada.

READ MORE: Interior Health Authority explains how it’s preparing for COVID-19 pandemic

In a press release, Kelowna International Airport (YLW) said other routes are operating, but that they may be on a reduced schedule.

YLW also said WestJet announced the suspension of all commercial, international and transborder operations for a 30-day period, starting Sunday, March 22.

“The safety of airport employees, passengers and our greater community is our top priority,” airport director Sam Samaddar, adding YLW is committed to keeping the public informed about the constantly changing landscape caused by COVID-19.

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YLW said Swoop’s service to Las Vegas will be suspended as of Monday, March 23, and that Sunwing Vacations has already suspended all southbound flight (March 17 to April 9).

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The federal government has issued a travel advisory, asking Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of the country until further notice.

The government also said listed recommendations for travellers. Those recommendations can be found here.

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At YLW, the airport said temporary changes have been made and will stay in effect until further notice.

The changes include:

  • Most dining services featuring take-out service only.
  • The drop-off valet service will not be available.
  • The airport ambassador program has been suspended.
  • The family adventure zone has been temporarily closed.
  • Increased sanitization of high-touch points.
  • More hand sanitizer stations throughout the terminal.
  • Implemented social distancing measures.

“While the situation with COVID-19 is in flux, our commitment to safety and the well-being of everyone at YLW has not changed,” said Samaddar.

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“We remain committed to ensuring a safe environment for everyone who comes into the airport.”

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