Minister of Transport celebrates return of regional routes to Saint John Airport

News release

July 2, 2021                  Saint John, New Brunswick                    Transport Canada

Airports and airlines are essential in connecting Canadians, creating good jobs and growing our economy. We know the global COVID-19 pandemic has had major impacts on the air sector. That is why the government of Canada has supported and continues to support our airports and airlines.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, and Member of Parliament for Saint John—Rothesay, Wayne Long, were at the Saint John Airport to welcome the arrival of Air Canada’s inaugural reinstated direct flight to Saint John from Toronto. This direct Toronto-Saint John route, and many other regional routes across the country, were reinstated by Air Canada as a result of the financial support package provided to the airline by the government in April 2021. The Minister concluded his visit to New Brunswick by taking this Air Canada flight back to Toronto.

To further support the air sector in the region, the Minister announced that the Saint John Airport will receive over $1.13 million from Transport Canada’s Airport Relief Fund to help the airport recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to support continued essential air services for residents and workers in Saint John and its surrounding communities.  

In addition, the Minister highlighted that the Government of Canada is also providing the airport with $565,400 from Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program for the rehabilitation of the airfield’s apron floodlights and a device to regulate the electrical currents at the airport.

As we move forward with the safe, gradual return of activity in the aviation sector, both in Canada and internationally, it is imperative that we continue to ensure a vibrant and competitive Canadian air sector.

Quotes

“Keeping communities across Canada connected is a top priority. Today’s return of regular flights to Saint John is a direct result of the investment our Government has made into the airline sector. This financial support will ensure that, as Canada works towards recovery and travel restart post pandemic, the Saint John Airport will be able to offer regional accessibility, and safe, reliable and efficient air services for residents and workers in Saint John and its surrounding communities.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

“A vibrant and financially strong airport in Saint John is a critical part of our economy and is a key piece in our recovery. I am proud to advocate for our regional airports. Regional travel is critical in Atlantic Canada. Saint John Airport has worked hard to provide safe reliable travel in a post pandemic world for those here in New Brunswick and our government’s investment will help ensure they are equipped to serve the residents of Saint John and all of Canada.”
 
Wayne Long
Member of Parliament for Saint John—Rothesay

Quick facts

  • On May 11, 2021, the Government of Canada launched the Airport Relief Fund which will provide $64.8 million for airports whose 2019 revenues were less than $250 million.

  • The amount of funding to each eligible recipient was calculated using a tiered formula-based approach, based on 2019 revenues.

  • Funding provided from the Airport Relief Fund must be used to cover activities that are directly related to the airport’s operations to ensure that the airport remains open to travellers and surrounding communities.

  • The Airports Capital Assistance Program is an existing contribution funding program which provides financial assistance to regional airports for safety-related capital infrastructure projects and equipment to ensure the continued safe operation of the airports for passengers, air crews and airport employees.

  • On May 11, 2021, the Minister announced that Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program was receiving a funding top-up of $186 million over two years and expanding its eligibility to larger airports like the Saint John Airport.

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Contacts

Allison St-Jean
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
Allison.St-Jean@tc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055
media@tc.gc.ca

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