Travelling in the past two years has not been easy for anyone, but as COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease, people are eager to take off.
“I haven’t been on an actual trip for a long time, so I’m really excited, actually,” said McKenna Nameth, heading out of Canada.
“We’re at the point where we need a vacation, it’s been a hard time,” said Regan Campbell.
At the end of February, Canada dropped the PCR testing requirement for fully-vaccinated travellers entering the country. Travellers now require an antigen test, which is less expensive and gives quicker results.
However, flyers can still be randomly selected for PCR tests. But fully-vaccinated flyers won’t have to isolate while waiting for their results, but they will have to isolate if they get a positive result.
The government also lifted their travel advisory and Saskatchewan airports are already seeing an increase in customers.
“I would say certainly, on the domestic side, we’re seeing a lot more appetite for travel, we’ve actually seen more passengers coming through almost immediately,” said James Bogusz, Regina Airport CEO.
The one thing that is still keeping people away is if travellers do test positive, they need to quarantine for 10 days at their destination before returning back to Canada.
That’s keeping many looking forward to the summer.
“But anticipating and anecdotally we’ve been hearing that passenger traffic is expected to pick up quite a bit through the rest of spring and into summer, so we’re really looking forward to that,” said CJ Dushinski, Skyxe Saskatoon Airport Business Development and Service Quality vice-president.
This summer will see more flights open up as Air Canada and WestJet are adding more frequent stops to popular destinations, as well as the return of destinations in Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Montreal. The airports will now be offering cheaper flight options with Swoop Airlines and Flair Air.
“If you’re traveling with all these additional airlines serving similar routes, especially with the ultra low cost carriers in the market, I think we’re going to see a much more competitive environment,” said Bogusz.
That means airports may be getting a lot busier soon.
“I just heard of more people travelling, and I thought why not,” said Maxine Galger, waiting for her flight.
Airports are also recommending travellers use the ArriveCan app to make it easier to provide your information when leaving or entering Canada.