The COVID19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on businesses from coast-to-coast-to-coast, but air transportation has been one of the most impacted industries.

Since the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus outbreak a pandemic in mid-March, air travel to and from Nanaimo has plummeted by as much as 95 percent.

New President and CEO at YCD, Dave Devana said employees have been receiving money from the Federal Government’s wage subsidy program.

“We’ve applied and we’ve been receiving money from the wage subsidy program, which pays up to $847 dollars a week for an employee in a business where they have had a significant revenue reduction, which would apply to us,” said Devana.

Air Canada is flying from Nanaimo to Vancouver four times a week and WestJet is running three times a week to Calgary.

Devana is hopeful that business will pick up in June.

“We do expect Air Canada to pick up their daily flights to Vancouver in June and we’re expecting WestJet to also increase their flights to Calgary,” said Devana.

The Nanaimo Airport is adhering to COVID19 protocols and Devana said, “There are wall-mounted hand sanitizers, there are the dots on the floor, we’ve increased our janitorial service, disinfecting all the areas,” said Devana.

Devana added, “Our Blue Navigator Program, our volunteer greeters, we’ve actually curtailed that program because we don’t want to expose them to any risk at the airport, so they’re not working right now.”

Other measures include:

  • Eliminating food services (other than vending machines)
  • Passengers have to fill out a COVID19 questionnaire
  • Anyone contractors hired by YCD need to fill out a COVID19 assessment form