Swoop Airlines president Steven Greenway speaks at a ribbon-cutting event for the Abbotsford International Airport’s newly expanded terminal. Greenway said Swoop hopes to set Abbotsford as its third base for aircraft by the end of the year. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

VIDEO: Swoop looks to newly expanded Abbotsford airport as base for aircraft

Abbotsford would be the third location in Canada to station the airliner’s aircraft

Swoop Airlines is looking to station two planes in Abbotsford by the end of the year, president Steven Greenway said Thursday at a ribbon cutting for the airport’s newly expanded terminal.

“We hope to make an announcement sometime mid-year with regard to that,” Greenway said, as MPs, MLAs, the mayor and airport officials marked the opening of the $5-million expansion of the Abbotsford International Airport.

Abbotsford would be the third airport in Canada to be a base point for Swoop aircraft, after Hamilton and Edmonton, Greenway said.

He added that it’s likely Abbotsford’s airport, which hit a record passenger count of over 800,000 last year, will see over one million passengers this year.

RELATED: Abbotsford airport expansion to double seating capacity

RELATED: Province kicks in $500k for Abbotsford airport improvements

“Parm thinks it’s December,” Greenway said, referring to airport manager Parm Sidhu. “I probably think it’s about October, November. I’ve got the planes, so I know.”

In five to 10 years, Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun says he anticipates the airport will hit the 2.5 million mark. That’s a five-fold increase over the 500,000 passengers Braun said the airport had hovered at for years until recently.

“I think 2019 will obviously be an even bigger year, and that really has necessitated this,” Greenway said, gesturing around him to the newly expanded airport terminal.

The expansion – which Braun noted was done without increasing airport fees – was mostly completed in December.

A big part of the recent expansion to last year’s record traffic was the introduction of Swoop, a low-cost airliner, which has been adding more flights in and out of Abbotsford recently.

This year, the airliner began twice-weekly flights from YXX to Mexico’s Puerto Vallarta on Jan. 12 and to Mazatlán International Airport as of this past Sunday.

And just this week, the airliner announced summer flights to Winnipeg and London, Ont. starting in May.

“Hopefully we’ve got a few more in our back pocket in the next couple of months,” Greenway said.

Currently, for the winter months, Greenway said Swoop has five or six flights per day in and out of Abbotsford, which is expected to increase to seven or eight per day.

He said Swoop is keen on Abbotsford because of the economics involved.

“It’s small, which is what we like, but also it’s part of a larger population base,” he said, adding that the lack of an airliner fee makes a “massive” difference.

“Obviously, we like a facility that’s cheap, because then we can keep fares low.”

But he also noted the simplicity of Abbotsford’s airport – without jet bridges to dock at, they can save time getting passengers on and off airplanes.

At the event, presenters noted the low fares for Swoop facilities, which is considered a draw for people in Vancouver, south of the border and elsewhere to fly to places like Edmonton or Ontario.

Presenting to the small audience in the new terminal, Braun and Abbotsford South MLA Darryl Plecas exchanged playful jabs about the proposed highway widening.

“I’m told by Nov. 1 of this year, we will have four lanes linking our international airport to Highway 1. I wasn’t going to mention Highway 1, but Speaker Plecas did, so I can’t resist. It seems odd to me that we have four lanes coming into the airport, but the freeway is still four lanes,” Braun said to laughter.

“So I’m hoping that between now and Nov. 1 we’ll hear something about that widening.”

Report an error or send us your tips, photos and video.

Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

Send Dustin an email.
Like the Abbotsford News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

LETTER: Ticketed and Ticked

Wayne Northey of Agassiz is hopping mad about his parking ticket

DOK seeks help stopping plant thieves

Suspicious behaviour should be reported to local RCMP

VIDEO: Car goes off Highway 1 and into a ditch in Chilliwack

Eastbound vehicle left the highway ending in the ditch on south side of Luckakuck Way

Emergency crews respond to ATV rollover near Harrison

ATV rolled over on or near Harrison East Forest Service Road near Harrison Hot Springs

Guilty verdict for one of two men in large illegal marijuana grow-operation in Chilliwack

Charges dismissed against property owner where 3,200 plants, 32 kgs of dried weed found in 2017

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

Friends, family remember victim of Langley possible triple-homicide fire at memorial

Memorial held for one the of three found dead at a house fire in Langley Meadows last month

Fraser Valley Bandits, CEBL bringing pro sports back later this month

Abbotsford-based basketball team kicks off CEBL Summer Series on July 26

Family and friends mark birthday of teen who died after being discovered in Langley park

Carson Crimeni suffered an apparent drug overdose, his final moments broadcast on social media

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Semi and BMW collide on South Surrey highway

At least one person to hospital, both vehicles sustained significant damage

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Most Read