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Leisure travel showing signs of recovery, Sault Airport says

Government, business market still lagging, says Terry Bos
File photo

While tourists heading to warmer climes helped traffic numbers at the Sault Ste. Marie Airport in January, numbers are still down from their pre-pandemic levels, according to a Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corp. news release.

Passenger traffic at the Sault Ste. Marie Airport saw a "normal seasonal decline" in January from December, the development corporation said.

Traffic was at 12,641 for December, but dipped slightly to 11,864 for January.

However, January passenger levels were still down 22 per cent from the same month in 2019, before the pandemic.

“The January performance, and the strength of the Sunwing numbers, only serves to reinforce that the leisure market is showing signs of recovery,” Terry Bos, SSMADC's president and CEO, said in a news release. “But the government and business market has still not started to show any measurable signs of recovery.”

Traffic for January in 2019 was 16,309, and January 2020 saw 15,185 passengers.

The COVID-19 pandemic took hold in Canada in March 2020.

This resulted in January 2021 seeing just 1,619 passengers at the Sault airport, while January 2022 rebounded somewhat with a total of 4,937 passengers.

Meanwhile, the current number of flights provided by airlines is as follows:

  • Air Canada Express two flights daily;
  • Bearskin Airlines has two flights Sunday, three flights daily Monday and Friday; four flights daily Tuesday and Thursday; six flights on Wednesday;
  • Porter has two daily flights daily Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday; three flights daily Monday, Thursday and Friday; and one daily on Saturday; and
  • Sunwing is providing direct, non-stop international flights offering one flight weekly to Cuba.

— SooToday