Some more bad news for North Bay's Jack Garland Airport and by extension, city taxpayers.
Air Canada has extended its temporary suspension of service until June 30. You now won't be able to take an Air Canada flight between North Bay and Toronto until at least July.
The air carrier says the temporary suspension of the local flights and their airport operations, due to COVID-19, has been extended to June 30. That information is contained on its website.
Back in March, the service was put on hold until the end of April, then extended to the end of May, and now further extended again.
The company had offered daily scheduled service from North Bay to Toronto.
When it announced the original suspension, on the Air Canada website announcing the move, it said "We continue to adapt our schedule and capacity in response to COVID-19 and have postponed launches or extended the temporary suspension of several routes.
"Air Canada will continue to monitor this evolving situation closely in consultation with the Public Health Agency of Canada, Transport Canada and Global Affairs and will adjust its schedule as appropriate."
That means another big hit for taxpayers.
City Council has approved measures to provide financial stability to the North Bay Jack Garland Airport in the coming months by allowing the transfer of up to $400,000 in capital dollars to cover day to day operations.
“From there they are saying they may need up to $200,000 a month for the balance of the year,” said Deputy Mayor Tanya Vrebosch.
“Two-hundred thousand dollars for a full 12 months would amount to 2.4 million dollars. If the city needs to operate the airport, this would be mean more than a 2 per cent increase,(in taxes)” said Vrebosch.
“We understand that this is not sustainable for the taxpayer and therefore we will do everything we can to ensure this level of support is only for a short period of time.”
"With the suspension of service of the largest provider of scheduled air service through the Airport, NBJGA Corporation is forecasting a revenue reduction of between 70% and 80% going forward until such time as air service through the Airport re-starts," states a report by John Severino, City Engineer - Infrastructure & Operations.
Councillor Chris Mayne told BayToday the issue is "very serious."
"If the City is unable to quickly provide financial guarantees to keep the airport operating past July 1st, there is a risk that the airport could close."