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New Brunswick airport prepares for arrival of new airline

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The Saint John Airport is preparing for the arrival of a brand new airline, with WestJet’s 'ultra low-fare’ carrier landing at the airport in two weeks' time.

That new carrier combined with Flair, which is already operating flights out of YSJ, is expected to bring a surge in passenger traffic to the terminal soon.

"In the past, typically Air Canada and other carriers were flying relatively small aircrafts, 50 to 75 seats," says president and CEO of the Saint John Airport Alexander Ross. "But Flair and Swoop are going to be flying 200-seat passenger aircrafts."

The expected increase in passengers means a need for more space, which is why renovations are taking place at the airport.

That work includes an expansion of the departure area which will allow about 300 people to fit inside, compared to about 140 currently.

"We’re moving the glass panels that separate it from the rest of the terminal," says Ross.

"We’re going to be moving that back about 14 or 15 feet on both the north and the west side, and that’s going to create about 50 per cent more space in that area for seating."

Meantime, at the Fredericton International Airport, Porter Airlines will be launching a new, non-stop service to downtown Toronto in May.

As the airport projects even more capacity – or seats available – this summer than they saw before the pandemic in 2019, with a nine per cent increase.

"The increased capacity really speaks to the airlines’ confidence in the market," says Kate O’Rourke, the manager of public relations and marketing for the airport.

"So what it means is they’re expecting a really strong summer for travel, so they’re moving their aircrafts around to accommodate that."

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