Air Canada to resume direct flights between Nanaimo and Toronto next month

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Flying to two of Canada’s most populous cities is about to get a little easier for those living in the Nanaimo region.

Air Canada has announced that it will resume non-stop flights from Nanaimo to Calgary and Toronto starting next month.

“We are thrilled to resume our non-stop flights from Nanaimo to both Toronto and to Calgary, offering additional choices to and from Vancouver Island,” Mark Galardo, Air Canada’s senior vice-president of network planning and revenue management, said in a press release.

Non-stop flights between Toronto and Nanaimo are scheduled to begin on July 4 and will operate on a weekly basis using a “mainline” narrow-bodied aircraft, according to the airline. Air Canada did not specify which aircraft would be used but in prior years, the airline has operated the route using an Airbus A319.

Meanwhile, service between Nanaimo and Calgary is slated to restart on July 2, with flights operating five times a week.

“The direct flight to Toronto shows that Air Canada has a vested interest in Nanaimo Airport by putting this route on our schedule as we prudently look to reopen our economy,” Dave Devana, president and chief executive officer of Nanaimo Airport Commission, said in a release.

Furthermore, the airline also announced it would be resuming non-stop service three times a week between Comox and Vancouver starting on June 30.

Anthony Everett, president and chief executive officer of Tourism Vancouver Island, called Air Canada’s decision to resume more flights to the Island a positive sign.

“Air access to Vancouver Island is a critical component for the long-term recovery of the tourism industry in our region. It is a positive sign to see a major carrier making this investment in the mid-Island as the restart of travel begins,” Everett said in a release.

Air Canada had been operating all of the routes either on a year-round or seasonal basis prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, as travel restrictions loosen and more people get vaccinated nationwide the airline has begun resuming service and announcing new routes.

They recently restarted direct flights from Victoria to Montreal, Toronto and Calgary and are about to launch a brand new route — direct service between Montreal and Kelowna — later this month.