Northwest Regional Airport manager Carman Hendry. (Quinn Bender photo)

Northwest Regional Airport manager Carman Hendry. (Quinn Bender photo)

Northwest Regional Airport says ridership extremely low amid COVID-19

The airport has enacted enhanced sanitary measures and reduced flights

Despite recently becoming the northwestern flight hub following a number of airport closures for the region, the manager for Northwest Regional Airport (YXT) says both air and passenger traffic is extremely low.

As of Mar. 24, Carman Hendry said the airport had seen a 50 per cent reduction in total flights. He adds that current passenger numbers are extremely low.

“[We had] an aircraft that takes 78 passengers, we were down to four passengers one flight the other day,” Hendry said, adding that the airport will eventually be moving to only two specific flight times a day. “Basically what’s happening is people are coming home and people are going home.”

Hendry said in response to COVID-19 the airport has enacted a number of enhanced sanitation measures. This includes increasing their janitorial services so they can be running while the airport is operating. There has been a concerted effort towards touch points such as door handles, flush knobs, railings and push buttons.

READ MORE: Air Canada to suspend flights to all Northwest airports except Terrace

As part of the above measures YXT is also asking anyone who is dropping off or picking someone up from the airport to stay out of the terminal to try and increase available space between individuals using the airport.

While Hendry noted the airport can’t remove all its seating options he said they are encouraging people to respect social distancing and to sit multiple seats apart on the airport’s benches. So far, it seems to be working.

“I did notice that [Tuesday] out in the terminal building that there were people sitting on the benches, but they were two or three seats apart from each other,” he said.

He said that as people head home he expects ridership numbers will drop even more. For now, YXT will do all it can to try and keep conditions as sanitary as possible.

“As the crisis continues people will eventually be where they have to be … but in the mean time we do have provide some way for people to get home.”

While ridership rates have dropped, it appears prices have remained relatively static. A search of a number of websites which sell plane tickets indicates prices for a round trip out of YXT to Vancouver International Airport are still hovering at just under $400.

YXT became the northwestern flight hub after Air Canada made the decision on March 19 to suspend flights to Prince Rupert, Smithers and Sandspit in an attempt to mitigate COVID-19 spread. All those flights are scheduled to resume May 1.



trevor.hewitt@interior-news.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

High winds blow wet snow in Prince Rupert on Feb. 24. The region is expecting two to four cm of snow and winds up to 100 km per hour. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
High wind warnings for North Coast, up to 4 cm of snow expected

Wet snow makes driving conditions in Prince Rupert slippery

Pink shirt day was celebrated at Pineridge Elementary School by staff and students in a stand against bullying. Mr. Craig, a work-experience student from Charle Hays Secondary School is seen with students in front of the hearts for kindness board on Feb. 24. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Pineridge students stand against bullying

Prince Rupert students in the pink with kindness

A Prince Rupert neighbourhood on Feb. 23, showing various housing with an apartment building development in the background. Housing advocates in the city say affordable housing is scarce.(Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Prince Rupert Recruitment campaign creates housing availability debate

“There is a serious disconnect here, with the new recruitment campaign,” - Paul Lagace

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

The City of Prince Rupert has received $1 million in provincial funding to assist redevelopment of the waterfront and support the Prince Rupert Waterfront Airport Ferry Landing development project. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
City to receive part of $20 million for waterfront development

Funding will support the Prince Rupert airport ferry relocation project

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
B.C. woman has nothing but praise for Elder Dog Canada

National organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but needs more clients to serve

Most Read