Pacific Coastal Airlines will be temporarily suspending operations.
All network operations to 16 airports across the province including Williams Lake will be suspended effective end of day Tuesday, March 24 due to the impacts of COVID-19.
“As for all other tenants including Central Mountain Air, logging operations, medevac, charters, and even the Fire Centre and their air tankers that are supposed to start on April 22 they are all still operational,” said Gary Muraca, Director of Municipal Services for the City of Williams Lake.
On top of their normal janitorial that happens every day, Muraca said they have added extra staff at the Airport that will go between flights and security operations to clean and sanitize surfaces and high touch areas.
“We have not told them that they have to isolate as they come back to travel at our airport but as they go through the Vancouver Airport that’s what they are giving out notification of,” Muraca said. “We’re just more educating them if you’re having these symptoms don’t come into our terminal building.”
Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs for Pacific Coastal Airlines, Kevin Boothroyd said they are following all rules and guidelines as set out by Transport Canada, and the Public Health Agency of Canada, and following the practices required by airports.
“We have been following the new guidelines for aircraft cleaning set out by Transport Canada since the early days of the outbreak,” he said.
The temporary suspension of services on Tuesday Boothroyd adds will give people who are not at home and traveled with them, a chance to get home.
“It’s a difficult decision anytime a company has to suspend service or close their business,” he said. “Pacific Coastal is a close-knit family and this also means that our employees will be subject to temporary layoffs and so this, and the impact to our customers and the communities we proudly serve weighs heavily on us, but at the end of the day it is the right decision to make at this time.”
Central Mountain Air that also operates in Williams Lake, as well as Quesnel, meanwhile said it will be revising for the travel period up to and including May 3 which will allow clients and employees a fixed schedule rather than rolling cancellations.