(WestJet / Instagram)

Vancouver Island will have better access to air travel this summer, as WestJet announced new routes on Friday, including Island communities.

Most of the routes are set to begin in late June, coinciding with a restoration of COVID-suspended WestJet service in Atlantic Canada and Quebec City.

“As we look to the coming months with cautious optimism, we know our restart agenda will be pivotal to Canada’s economic recovery,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO.

“Stimulating air travel benefits all Canadians and supports those hardest hit; with one in every 10 Canadian jobs tied to travel and tourism, the ripple effect benefits our whole country.”

The new routes servicing Vancouver Island communities include:

  • Saskatoon – Victoria, twice weekly (Thu, Sun) | beginning June 24th, 2021
  • Winnipeg – Victoria, thrice weekly (Thu, Sat, Sun) | beginning June 24th, 2021
  • Edmonton – Nanaimo, twice weekly (Fri, Sun) | beginning June 25th, 2021
  • Ottawa – Victoria, once weekly (Sat) | beginning June 26th, 2021
  • Toronto – Comox, once weekly (Sat) | beginning June 26th, 2021

Sims says the company is at an “inflection point” in the pandemic, and has adapted to new precautions. With the vaccine rollout, he expressed confidence in renewed business.

“If Canadians were to shift two-thirds of their planned international-leisure travel spend towards domestic tourism, it would help sustain 150,000 jobs and accelerate recovery by one year, all while seeing what Canada has to offer,” he said.

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