Those in the travel industry are applauding the move by the federal government to reinstate Windsor Airport as an international airport.
During the pandemic, the government limited in-bound flights to certain airports, such as Toronto and Ottawa.
That meant Sunwing Airlines could fly from Windsor to Veradero, Cuba, but would have to stop in Ottawa on the way back so passengers could clear customs before continuing on to Windsor.
While a Sunwing media spokesperson says it’s too late in the year to change that schedule this year, they expect to resume a regular schedule next winter.
The airport CEO says the international designation will mean the airport can return to normalcy.
“We’re all looking to the future in 2022 and 2023 for that recovery period. There’s a pent up travel demand,” said Mark Galvin.
Galvin expects the airport will again be able to attract more business to the airport and get back to the days when the airport was making a profit of $1 million a year for the city.
Al Valente, the owner of Valente Travel, said sees the international designation as positive for the local travel industry.
“So we look for an uptick in travel, for sure,” said Valente. “It all depends on demand and how safe people feel. We’re getting back to normalcy, I think there’s going to be a boom, and we know there’s a pent up demand. My phone has been ringing off the hook.”
Valente says getting rid of the PCR test requirement is also going to help.
Gordon Orr, CEO of Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, said “the more visitation that comes to the region the better it is, not only for tourism and hospitality but for the economy of Windsor Essex.”
The international designation goes into effect on Feb. 28. Sunwing Airlines will continue flights to Veradero, Cuba, on Thursdays until April 7.