The WestJet / Swoop Restart Roundtable, hosted by WestJet Vice-President, Andy Gibbons and Swoop President, Charles Duncan, took place after COVID-19 has decimated the industry and the Ontario travel industry lost more than $5.2 billion in international travel revenue. It was WestJet’s 16th roundtable meeting.
Participants from the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, City of Hamilton, Hamilton Halton Brant Regional Tourism, Government of Canada, KF Aerospace, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), NAVCAN, Jetport, CATSA, Mohawk College and more discussed the critical nature of aviation to the community and how stakeholders could continue to collaborate to support recovery.
We are confident that the Airport is well-prepared and ready to receive international and transborder flights and remain optimistic that the federal government will extend its list of approved airports,” added Cathie Puckering. “We continue to advocate alongside our airline and industry partners for the inclusion of John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport so that we can better serve our local community and support a safe and successful restart of air travel and tourism beyond our national borders.”
Both WestJet and Swoop fly out of the Hamilton region; WestJet since 2000 and Swoop since the airline’s inception in 2018. Swoop alone has provided $80 million in economic output for the region (2019) and has helped contribute to passenger growth of 118 per cent at YHM between 2016 and 2018, accounting for more than 55 per cent of the growth.
Said Charles Duncan, Swoop President, ““While vaccinations in Canada are leading the globe and as aviation becomes the first fully vaccinated industry, we are looking to the Government of Canada to remove barriers put in place pre-vaccine to ensure the economic recovery of the industry. The sooner we have certainty around international status dates as a start, the better for business, trade and travellers, who are all holding their breath to see what happens.”