Travel during the pandemic remains slow, evident by the passengers who are few and far between at the Victoria International Airport.
That appears like it is about to change because as restrictions ease, many residents will want to get on a plane and go on a vacation.
According to YYJ, the number of flights is about to double heading into the summer.
“In the summer, right now, the current schedule shows about 70 to 80 flights total every day. That’s a significant increase,” said Rod Hunchak, YYJ director of business development.
The travel industry is trying to get ready for a customer rush, but COVID-19 forced many agencies to shut down amid the pandemic, according to Cathy Scott, owner of Departures Travel.
“800 travel agencies have closed and that’s just in Canada,” said Scott. “Do the math on that. Find a good travel advisor and make them your friend.”
The global pandemic has left some travel businesses without much traffic, however, business is picking back up for companies like Far and Away Adventures, and the prices for travelling are about half what they are normally.
“Typically we’ll see $2,400 for flights from Victoria, but we’re seeing flights that are half of that. $12-to-1400 to get to Tahiti,” said Normand Schaffer, a travel agent with Far and Away Adventures.
“You know, I’ve been selling Tahiti for 20 years, and I’ve never seen the types of prices that we’re seeing to that destination,” Schaffer adds.
While there are deals out there, the window to book them is closing and trips can still be cancelled because of the pandemic, even with lessening restrictions and lower prices.
In 2020, Torben Hansen’s flight to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico was cancelled and rebooking has been an uphill battle ever since.
“I was trying 1-800-WestJet. Every line and phone number I could find on the internet,” said Hansen.
Hansen says he has been able to re-book a flight for July, but he’s unsure his plans will remain in place.
“Who knows? Maybe I’ll get another email tomorrow saying, sorry we had to cancel those flights as well,” adds Hansen.
Meanwhile, the federal government is indicating further details on the reopening of the Canadian border will be released this week.