Having last year announced plans to begin service from the Region of Waterloo International Airport, Pivot Airlines is now booking flights to Ottawa and Montreal. The former will begin February 19, while the latter start March 21.
Tickets went on sale last Friday through the company’s website, with wider availability expected later this year.
“They are going to be available through the meta engines like Expedia and Travelocity and Google Flights as well – that’s probably six weeks down the road because… these things take a little bit of time,” said Brock Henderson, the airline’s vice president of operations control.
Starting in February, Pivot will be flying twice daily to Ottawa during the workweek, adding a third flight when Montreal comes on stream as part of the loop.
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“Coincident with adding Montreal, we’re going to Ottawa three times a day. That’s for weekdays; it’s a little less for the weekend – we’re just doing a morning flight on Saturday and an evening flight on Sunday to Ottawa. We don’t really anticipate a ton of demand on the weekend,” said Henderson.
The move to begin booking flights was greeted by the region, which is currently expanding the Breslau airport to accommodate more traffic.
“We welcome Pivot Airlines to the Region of Waterloo. Many residents will benefit from this new service to Ottawa and Montreal,” said regional Chair Karen Redman in a statement. “We believe this service will encourage investment and create jobs in our community. Every seat bought out of YKF strengthens our local economy. Construction is currently underway on a terminal expansion that will accommodate further growth and investment in the region.”
Pivot’s timing reflects a growing confidence in a return to air travel, Henderson noted.
“We certainly feel that the market is there. We’ve been watching the trends and the strengthening in the market. We had a few bellwether events that we were watching, like the opening of the border to United States and the ability to fly into the Maritimes ; we see all these bellwether events passing and we’re fairly confident that people will be comfortable flying,” he said, noting the industry has a host of measures in place to increase public health.
“It’s nice to know the person sitting beside you is going to be double vaccinated, and Transport Canada has put in a lot of processes to ensure that it’s safe to fly. We have a very detailed sanitization process for the aircraft that we brought in many months ago for the charter work we’ve been doing. So I think people will be comfortable flying. I think we have a good product.”
Down the road, Pivot is eyeing flights to U.S. destinations from Breslau. Under consideration are Boston and Philadelphia, with Nashville topping the priority list, said Henderson.