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

World Maritime Day – Sept. 24

Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet

‘Water Quality Advisory’ lifted for Prince Rupert

Some Prince Rupert residents are still under a ‘Boil Water Notice’

Liberals and Greens yet to announce North Coast candidates

North Coast candidates have until two weeks before the election to name contenders

Cullen confirmed as B.C. NDP candidate for Stikine despite party’s equity policy

Former Tahltan Central Government President Annita McPhee said the process made her feel “abused”

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Transgender B.C. brothers debut fantasy novel as author duo Vincent Hunter

‘Transgender people are being misrepresented in popular fiction and media, and we aim to change that’

Most Read