Air Canada to Offer Vancouver Service from JWA in October

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Main News Photo

(Orange County Register)

Starting in October, daily flights to Vancouver will be available from John Wayne Airport via Air Canada – the latest airline to begin regular service in Orange County.

In the past nine months, three other new carriers have launched flights at JWA: Allegiant Air, Spirit, and Sun Country airlines. Those three and Air Canada were given some slots when county officials approved annual passenger allocations in late 2020; Orange County supervisors on Tuesday approved a four-year lease that will allow the Canadian airline to begin service this fall.

JWA is uniquely restricted by a legal settlement that caps the number of passengers who may pass through each year. Because of that cap, as well as the airport’s small size and limited number of gates, county officials limit how many commercial carriers use the terminal and how many passenger slots each one gets.

Air Canada was allowed in because it was high on the waiting list when capacity opened up last year, airport spokeswoman AnnaSophia Servin said in an email.

Spirit Airlines began service in November, and Allegiant and Sun Country launched flights earlier this year. The Vancouver flights will be among just a few international destinations out of JWA. There are two destinations in Mexico and two in Canada, with WestJet expected to start flying to Calgary before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, traffic at John Wayne Airport has begun to return to normal levels, after plunging precipitously last year due to the pandemic. Through this June (the last full month for which statistics are available), passenger volume reached nearly 80% of the total for the same month in 2019, but the year-to-date total for 2021 – 2.6 million – was still far below the 5.2 million passengers who had passed through JWA by mid-2019.

Servin said during the second week of August, the airport saw 90% of the passengers it saw in the same period two years ago, but JWA officials expect a decline over the next month or two as summer travel falls off, and it’s uncertain how new increases in COVID-19 cases could influence people’s travel decisions.


Category: Travel and Tourism, transportation, John Wayne Airport, Orange County