Two million passengers — that was the total number of travellers in 2019 for Kelowna International Airport, and officials say 2020’s traffic numbers will obviously be much lower due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In April 2019, Kelowna International Airport saw roughly 155,000 passengers, according to airport officials.
Compared to then, April 2020 at YLW saw a massive decrease.
Before the pandemic the airport was averaging around 70 flights per day, but now things are drastically different.
“We’re essentially at rock bottom. Right now, in May, we’re seeing about eight flights a day,” said Samaddar.
The pandemic has shut down most of the airlines that YLW is used to seeing at its airport.
“At the height of our travel we had nine airlines, right now we have two,” Samaddar told Global News on Wednesday.
WestJet and Air Canada are the only airlines operating right now at Kelowna International Airport and they are only serving two destinations for YLW, Vancouver and Calgary.
Samaddar says there is a glimmer of hope in coming in June.
“We will be servicing Calgary, Prince George, Edmonton, Cranbrook, Victoria and Vancouver.”
Samaddar says traffic returning to the airport will take time, as travellers will need to regain confidence that flying is safe.
Samaddar wants to let the public know, the airport is using every measure it can to ensure that their passenger’s safety comes first while it tries to resume normal service.
Kelowna International Airport lists their COVID-19 protocols:
- Increased cleaning protocols
- Physical distancing signage
- Areas that physical distancing is hard or impossible, both airport employees and the passengers will be required to wear masks
- Temperature checks before boarding
- Some airlines will be providing safety kits on their aircrafts (PPE)