First, Air Canada announced it would be cancelling all flights into Smithers for the spring because of Covid-19. Then, the airline said it was extending a July 1 reopening of service to August. Now, flights might not start arriving until the end of August–if that.
So what’s the deal? The airline said the main issue is lack of demand. That makes sense considering the border to the U.S. is still closed and many people are afraid of catching coronavirus on board a flight. In fact, a recent poll suggests that only 22 percent of Canadians are comfortable taking a flight that doesn’t have social distancing.
Air Canada earlier this month began relaxing rules about space between passengers.
After being criticized for its safety protocols by B.C. Health Officer Bonnie Henry, Air Canada shot back and said it’s meeting all the necessary rules, arguing it’s “most definitely aligned with Dr. Henry’s advice.”
But with controversies like this potentially spooking passengers and few Americans coming into Canada this summer, it seems reasonable to expect that Air Canada flights might not be landing in Smithers for quite some time.