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Transport minister to announce resumption of international flights

The “international” in the name of the region’s airport will be applicable again by month’s end, as Ottawa eases restrictions on passenger travel.

The Region of Waterloo International Airport is one of eight additional facilities that will be cleared to handle international passengers as of November 30. Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra was in Breslau Tuesday morning to announce the expanded list.

“I’m happy to announce we will be expanding international flight arrivals to more airports. Effective November 30, international flights will be permitted at eight international airports, included the Region of Waterloo’s,” he said. “As conditions improve across the country, it will be possible to allow more airports to resume international flights.”

Transport Canada’s decision on international flights is part of a gradual easing of restrictions, with the government cautiously reopening the border.

“The global pandemic has significantly impacted our daily lives. It has limited our ability to travel for business and has kept us from visiting our family and friends. As of October 30, travellers in Canada aged 12 and older must show proof of vaccination to board trains, planes or vessels. This strict vaccination mandate is essential to travellers to safeguard employers, our communities, ourselves and to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Alghabra.

Along with the Breslau facility, the new clearances apply to St. John’s International, John C. Munro Hamilton, Regina International, Saskatoon John G Diefenbaker, Kelowna International, Abbotsford International. and Victoria International. They’ll join 10 of Canada’s larger airports, including Pearson in Toronto, that are already handling international flights.

This week’s announcement was greeted by regional Chair Karen Redman.

“Every time restrictions are lifted, little by little there’s a sense we truly are getting closer to the end of this pandemic. The team at the Region of Waterloo airport is working flat out to support the growth of air service in our community. These plans include significant reorganization of our international arrivals area to accommodate the travel opportunities enabled by today’s announcement,” she said at Tuesday’s event.

“This news will allow Flair airlines to set a launch date for their service to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Florida and we look forward to the return of Sunwing Airlines to service Cancun, Mexico. Our community, our province and our country are prioritizing public health measures and vaccines, that has allowed us to reopen safely. Today’s announcement is a symbol of our growing recovery. With our expansion well underway it means we can start planning with our airline partners to provide further services for our local businesses who compete in a global economy. Investments in our airport are not only about moving tourists and travellers but about stabilizing jobs, attracting talent, and allowing our community to remain a vital engine in our economy.”

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