Increased number of passengers fly to Newfoundland from Halifax as St. John’s International Airport reopens
Travellers will be welcomed home by over 90 cm of snow
January 22, 2020, 9:18 pm ASTLast Updated: January 23, 2020, 2:01 pm
There was increased traffic leaving Halifax Stanfield International Airport bound for St. John’s, N.L., on Wednesday as weary travellers made their way back home following Friday’s blizzard.
In an email, Kaitlyn Hickey, a spokesperson for St. John’s International Airport, said there were more than 2,600 extra seats available for people travelling to Newfoundland’s capital city from mainland Canada.
Friday’s storm and the days since have left St. John’s buried in snow, with a recorded snowfall amount of over 90 centimetres. Grocery stores were permitted to reopen for the first time on Tuesday.
“How would you feel if that was your street?” asked traveller Bill Miller, pointing to a picture of snow banks that reached over half the height of his home.
Commercial aircraft operations were suspended beginning on Friday as St. John’s declared a state of emergency.
The city is still in a state of emergency, but St. John’s International Airport was able to reopen Wednesday morning. Taxis are also permitted to resume operations, according the City of St. John’s website.
Some Newfoundlanders have been stuck in Halifax since Friday, and it could be Thursday before some can make it back home again.
— Terry Ferris (@ferris_terry) January 19, 2020
Brian Collins spent three nights in Halifax.
“We’re just tired and waiting to get home now,” he said. “We were hoping we would be home earlier but we had to wait it out.”
Unlike other passengers, Wayne Smith was on track to get back to town a few hours before his scheduled flight on Wednesday.
Smith hopes that will mean he doesn’t have to struggle to get inside his home late at night.
“I would’ve had to crawl in on top of the snow and hope that the door would be open. That’s how much snow is there,” he said.
Hickey said airport crews have been working since Friday to clear snow off 1.12 million square metres of asphalt.
The city of St. John's is still in a state of emergency. Please do not travel to the airport unless you have a flight, are working there, or are picking someone up. When possible, please carpool or take a taxi to minimize traffic and congestion on roadways. #YYT #nlwx
— St. John's Airport (@stjohnsairport) January 22, 2020
Medevac, emergency, and military flights were able to operate as of last Sunday.
Hickey said the airport was expecting a busy day on Wednesday, with extra flights added to accommodate all the delays.
Have a story idea? Let us know