In the first six months of 2014, the Nanaimo Airport enjoyed an average of 33.3 per cent growth per month.
Year-to-date growth in 2014 is at nearly 20 per cent, and the Nanaimo Airport Commission is expecting to post another record year in 2014.
The Nanaimo Airport has seen passenger numbers climb more than 70 per cent since 2008, thanks to the completion of a runway expansion.
And the good news doesn’t stop there.
Air Canada has announced that it will begin daily non-stop service to Calgary in the spring.
“We are delighted to launch our newest regional services at Nanaimo Airport to Calgary next spring, and we look forward to welcoming customers from the Nanaimo/Cassidy areas onboard Air Canada Express flights operated by Jazz Aviation,” Kevin C. Howlett, Air Canada’s senior vice-president of regional markets, said in a press release. “Customers can fly either point-to-point between Nanaimo and Calgary or conveniently connect at our Calgary hub to and from our worldwide network to destinations in Europe, extensive North American route network and beyond. Our Nanaimo-Calgary flights complement our multiple daily Nanaimo-Vancouver flights.”
The new daily flight starts May 1 and will be arriving in Nanaimo at 1:15 p.m. and departing for Calgary at 1:45 p.m. Air Canada will operate a Q400 on this route. This will be in addition to the eight daily Air Canada Express flights from Nanaimo to Vancouver in the summer schedule.
“Developing service is key to Nanaimo Airport’s continued growth to ensure safe, reliable transportation for Central Vancouver Island residents,” said Mike Hooper, president and CEO of the Nanaimo Airport. “This announcement is a major indicator of how strongly the Mid-Island region is supporting Air Canada’s gateway route from Nanaimo to Vancouver. With those flights at near capacity, this new route will provide additional Air Canada seats for those travelling to Eastern Canada and the world.”
Within a four-hour window, there are more than 25 Air Canada flights this new service connects to, including multiple flights to Edmonton, Fort McMurray and Toronto. In addition to the domestic flights, there are connections to American and international destinations such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, London, and Frankfurt.
This announcement from Air Canada comes less than two months after a second WestJet daily flight from Nanaimo to Calgary began at the end of October.