Air Canada service between Sydney and Halifax cut until January

Click to play video 'Airports in Atlantic Canada “Decimated” by Airline Cuts' Airports in Atlantic Canada “Decimated” by Airline Cuts
WestJet service cancellations in Atlantic Canada are another blow to airports in eastern Canada, and the Atlantic Canada Airport Association says without federal funding, the future of airports in the region is uncertain.    – Oct 16, 2020

The Sydney Aiport has announced that Air Canada’s planned cancellation of service between Halifax and Sydney, N.S., has been extended through to Jan. 10, 2021.

The cancellation of the route was only supposed to be in effect between Nov. 2 and Nov. 30 but the extension means there will be no service through the end-of-year holiday season.

Until this month the route had been in place between the two major centres since 1942.

But the emergence of COVID-19 and the effect it has had on the airline industry has been devastating.

Read more: Decades-old regional Air Canada route from Sydney to Halifax cancelled

Global News has reached out to Air Canada for comment but has yet to receive a response.

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In a statement, Mike MacKinnon, CEO of the J.A. McCurdy Sydney Airport, said the airport authority is “extremely disappointed” with the decision, especially when there are ongoing talks between the government of Canada and airlines regarding industry relief.

“There will be no ability to travel by air between the two largest cities in Nova Scotia over the holiday season and we are in the same bubble, it is very disappointing,” MacKinnon said in a statement.

“Air service from Sydney is hanging by a thread, we need action, not words right now and I call upon (Transportation Minister Marc Garneau) and the airlines to immediately engage in meaningful discussions in order to avoid more air service cuts.”

Click to play video 'Europe moves to standardize air travel rules during pandemic' Europe moves to standardize air travel rules during pandemic
Europe moves to standardize air travel rules during pandemic – Oct 17, 2020

MacKinnon also took aim at the Nova Scotia government, saying the province needs to look at ways to safely allow air travel through the implementation of rapid coronavirus testing.

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“A rapid testing pilot is a tool that should be evaluated as a way to possibly reduce quarantine measures and still keep the public safe,” said MacKinnon.

The province has so far resisted calls to adopt a rapid testing program.

Read more: Nova Scotia reports 3 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday

Earlier this month, Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, said the province is looking at adopting some kind of procedure for Nova Scotia’s borders.

However, he cautioned that rapid tests are approved based on optimal lab testing and are not as useful in real-world situations and not as accurate as the tests currently being used by health officials.

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