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Air Canada won't offer North Bay flights until September

Service has been suspended since March
USED 2019-12-19goodmorningnorthbaybct  4 Landed safely. Jack Garland airport. North Bay. Photo by Brenda Turl for BayToday.
Air Canada at Jack Garland airport in North Bay. (Photo by Brenda Turl for BayToday)

North Bay's Jack Garland Airport got more bad news this week as Air Canada announced it won't offer flights to Toronto until at least Sept. 7.

The airline first suspended its Toronto-North Bay service in March, following the onset of COVID-19, but it was expected to be up and running again by the end of April.

However, Air Canada has extended that suspension of service multiple times since then – first to the end of May and then until the end of June. Travellers now won't have access to service until the fall.

The company had offered daily scheduled service from North Bay to Toronto.

Air Canada regularly updates its changing service schedule on its website.

"We continue to adapt our schedule and capacity in response to COVID-19 and have postponed launches or extended the temporary suspension of several routes," Air Canada announced on its website in March.

"Air Canada will continue to monitor this evolving situation closely in consultation with the Public Health Agency of Canada, Transport Canada and Global Affairs and will adjust its schedule as appropriate."

The lack of revenue has left North Bay city council struggling to keep the facility afloat.

In April, council agreed to contribute $400,000 to support operations over the coming months, but that's just a short-term solution.

If the city is required to continue backing the airport over the next 12 months, it could cost up to $2.4 million, and taxpayers would face a 2 per cent increase to pay for it.

According to a report prepared earlier this year by city engineer John Severino, the airport corporation is forecasting a revenue reduction of between 70 and 80 per cent, putting the airport at risk of permanent closure.