Looking to escape the Winnipeg cold? It might be tough finding a direct flight

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., Monday, May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Winnipeggers looking to get away from the cold and go somewhere tropical might have trouble finding a local flight, according to local travel companies.

Since the announcement of easing COVID-19 restrictions, travel agents have seen a surge in calls from prospective vacationers.

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Susan Postma, Regional Manager for CAA Manitoba, says finding availability for a direct flight is more challenging this year.

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“There’s not as many direct flights,” she said.

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“The inventory, if you will, for finding availability is becoming more and more challenging. So we are noticing that people are having to either be a bit more nimble as to where they want to go or when they want to go.”

Recent data from the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport shows 2020 and 2021 flight numbers dropped to roughly one-quarter of what they were in previous years.

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With the current routing program already set for this winter, the supply doesn’t quite meet the climbing demand.

Other companies, like Transat, have also noticed an uptick in calls.

Transat representative Pierre Tessier told Global News over email there’s been an increased demand over the past few weeks “in anticipation of the March break getaways and the following months (spring and summer).”

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Postma says people are already planning ahead to book their vacations.

“We have had people calling asking already about winter 2022-23. I think they’re really looking … if they can’t get away now, they seem to be really looking to make sure they’ve got something planned for next winter.”

The program for winter 2022-23 is set to come out around April or May.

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