Saskatoon welcomes Swoop flight as feds end COVID-19 vaccine mandate for travellers |

People in Saskatoon will be seeing a whole lot more flights taking off as Swoop Airlines made their first stop at the city’s airport Tuesday morning. The airline will be offering cheaper flights to travellers at a time when the industry is hoping to really take off.

“Skyxe is thrilled to welcome Swoop to our community,” said Stephen Maybury, Saskatoon airport authority president and CEO.

“With summer quickly approaching, Swoop’s new direct routes connecting Saskatoon to Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto are timely to provide low cost and efficient options for Canadian travelers as they travel again and add tangible benefit to our local economy.”

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Swoop’s arrival comes as the federal government announced that vaccine mandates will no longer be required, as of June 20, for outbound travelers. It’s welcome news for those in the industry.

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Bob Cummings, Swoop president, said the requirement of validating vaccination for travellers has been a challenge. “It’s a very very difficult process – it’s difficult on employees with all the restrictions that still exist.”

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The travel industry was hit hard throughout the pandemic. Travel Advisor Barb Crowe said she often found herself working alone in the Ixtapa travel agency as most of her colleagues worked from home. She said the agency location is now up for sale and all travel advisors, herself included, will find themselves working remotely.

“This has been the worst of the worst for the travel industry,” Crowe said.

Crowe said while the lifting of the vaccination mandate this is welcome news for travel advisors like herself, COVID-19 is not over. Vaccine mandates may be dropping in Canada but there are still restrictions and people are still nervous.

“There’s certainly a lot of anxiety in the planning stage of going,” said Crowe. “I think people will just feel more comfortable now and hopefully we see even more things get lifted.”

Crowe said it will be important for travelers to be patient as things slowly change and to plan ahead as things are still not like they used to be.

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“We still don’t have the flights that we used to have,” said Crowe. “There’s not as much frequency and so that’s one of the hurdles that we have. The prices of flights are going up.”

Click to play video: 'Vaccination proof for air travel suspended as of June 20'

Vaccination proof for air travel suspended as of June 20

Vaccination proof for air travel suspended as of June 20

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