Five additional Canadian destinations will open to international flights on Aug. 9 and among those is Quebec City, a similar-sized airport as Regina and Saskatoon.
It has left the YQR and YXE airport authorities at a loss as to why one of them wasn’t chosen.
“We have COVID testing available on site today. We’ve got a customs facility. I’m just not clear why we don’t have an opportunity to receive these direct services, or even have a date provided,” said James Bogusz, president & CEO of the Regina Airport Authority.
“And I’m just not understanding why they now have two airports in that one province but yet our province has zero airports that can support trans-border service,” Bogusz said.
But even though international flights won’t be landing in Saskatchewan, additional connectivity is welcome as summer events start to take place across the country.
“We’re hopeful that people will fly to Calgary maybe and then come across to see us, but it makes it a little more difficult. We don’t like to be left out,” Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce CEO Steve McLellan said.
The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce said most summer visitors cross the land border and are hopeful plans are in place for air passengers in the near future.
Transport Canada said the five airports which were selected were based on short-term operational capacities by public health and border services as well as being able to act as quote — relief valves for the four major airports.
The Saskatoon and Regina airport authorities said they remain in touch with Transport Canada as to when a timeline for reopening to international routes can take place.
“And the sooner that we have some certainty around what’s required to welcome safely inbound and outbound traffic from Saskatoon, the sooner we can prepare for that,” Skyxe president & CEO Stephen Maybury said.
Both said the amount of passenger traffic has tripled as people return to travel.