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Passenger levels at Regina airport have tripled in July

Click to play video: 'Families reunite at Regina airport' Families reunite at Regina airport
WATCH: Regina’s airport is busier than ever. Global News checked into the arrivals area Tuesday morning and captured some touching moments – families reuniting with big hugs and sharing a few tears. For many, it's the first time seeing each other in months. – Jul 13, 2021

The demand for flights in and out of Regina is starting to take off as COVID-19 restrictions begin to loosen in Saskatchewan and across Canada.

James Bogusz, president and CEO of the Regina Airport Authority, said on Tuesday that the amount of passengers they are seeing in July is up three times compared to what they saw only a couple months ago.

“In the month of July already, we are trending at over triple the passengers that we saw even as early as the month of May. So around 35 per cent and I hope this trend continues,” shared Bogusz when speaking to Global Regina’s Daniella Ponticelli. “We’ve been struggling for a lot of months and now is the time to travel for sure.”

Bogusz admitted it feels like a real airport once again with more passengers and reduced restrictions.

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Read more: Regina airport to offer on-site COVID-19 rapid testing through Haztech

While users are welcomed to wear a mask if they choose, masks are no longer required in many public areas of YQR’s terminal building including the baggage and pick-up areas. The airport’s sanitization and cleaning programs are still in place, too.

“With more flight options than ever since the pandemic began, it is the time to start considering maybe seeing friends and family again,” Bogusz suggested. “The country is loosening up restrictions and we’re here to support safe travel.”

In terms of domestic destinations, Bogusz said they have a number of options this summer in both Western and Eastern Canada.

“We’re very lucky to have Kelowna as a brand new, non-stop destination, which has been very popular so far with B.C. loosening their restrictions as well,” he mentioned.

“Edmonton is now back and there’s a lot more frequency to Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto, and we’ve got Ottawa starting on Aug. 1.”

Read more: Sunwing announces new flights from Regina and Saskatoon beginning December

Bogusz added that flights are more restricted when it comes to international travel with just four airports in Canada handling these types of flights at this time. There are some options, however, for residents looking to travel during the cold months.

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Bogusz said Sunwing Airlines has announced direct international service to six destinations starting in December including Cancún, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, Mazatlán, Punta Cana and Varadero.

The airport authority also hopes to soon renew efforts to talk about a U.S. flight returning to the Regina airport.

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