Mike Hanrahan (middle) was one of the first passengers to arrive in Quesnel via commercial flight when he stepped off of a Central Mountain Air plane on June 28. Flights had been suspended due to COVID-19 since April of 2002. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Mike Hanrahan (middle) was one of the first passengers to arrive in Quesnel via commercial flight when he stepped off of a Central Mountain Air plane on June 28. Flights had been suspended due to COVID-19 since April of 2002. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Quesnel council continues to waive passenger fees for Central Mountain Air

The airline says operations in Quesnel have not been profitable since returning

Quesnel council unanimously approved extending waiving passenger fees at the Quesnel airport during their Tuesday, Dec. 7 meeting.

In a report given to council, the city’s director of community services, Jeff Norburn, said Central Mountain Air’s Quesnel operations are not profitable.

“While air travel has resumed and flights have been increased for the month of December, Central Mountain Air reports that their operations in Quesnel are not yet breaking-even and they are not yet generating positive margins when forecasting into 2022,” he said.

READ MORE: Quesnel council waives passenger landing fees for Central Mountain Air

Central Mountain Air suspended flights from Quesnel in April of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Flights returned to Quesnel over a year later, in June of 2021.

Council approved waiving the fees, which are $20 per passenger, until March 31, 2021.

Any loss of revenue at the airport has been covered by provincial and federal grant money. Initial funding was provided by the COVID-19 safe re-start fund, and recent funds have come from the COVID airport relief fund and federal regional airport transportation initiative (RATI).

The city received $360,000 in 2021 from the provincial fund, and will receive over $300,000 from RATI.

“The RATI program will cover expenses until March 31, 2022 including staff costs, janitorial services, COVID safety features, the provision of ‘underwing’ services and marketing,” Norburn’s report noted.

Central Mountain Air operates five flights a week from Quesnel to Vancouver, with no service on Wednesdays and Saturdays. There are also flights from Quesnel to Campbell River.

READ MORE: Quesnel airport will host commercial flights again on June 28

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com


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cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com


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