Efforts to save Maritime airports take off
SYDNEY, N.S. -- The tarmac at the J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney airport was empty Tuesday as its future remains very much up in the air.
But community members, along with the Cape Breton Partnership, are rallying in hopes flights will soon be taking off daily again.
"A number of organizations have been writing letters to various government stakeholders, but we wanted to make sure we had the opportunity to do more," said Cape Breton Partnership CEO Carla Arsenault.
Arsenault says a video will be launched later this week, outlining the impact on all corners of the community when Air Canada departs the airport for the final time on Jan. 11.
"We recognize it's a significant loss for our economy, significant impact on rotational workers, significant impact for international students, and people who are travelling here for their education," said Arsenault.
Air Canada is also ending service in Saint John, N.B., and cancelling all Toronto flights in and out of Fredriction International Airport.
The mayor of the port city sent a letter to the federal minister of transportation, urging the government to act quickly.
"No business can go on indefinitely with a 92 per cent drop in revenues in customers, so I'm not going to give you a date on when we will run out of money," said Saint John Airport CEO Derrick Stanford.
Back in Sydney, the two Liberal MPs on the island have been criticized by some for not being vocal enough.
Mike Kelloway disagrees, and says his government is currently in negotiations with the airlines.
"For months now, I've been working with Mike MacKinnon, the CEO of the Sydney airport. For months now I've been working with Chrystia Freeland and Marc Garneau. I think it's OK to criticize, but I think it's important to realize what you're criticizing and get your facts straight."
Kelloway says having air travel disappear in Cape Breton is not an option and is confident negotiations will produce a deal that air service continues.