October 10, 2017
You’ll soon be able to take a round-trip flight from Oro-Medonte to Toronto for leisure and business travel.
The 19-minute direct flights will run between Lake Simcoe Regional Airport and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport daily from Monday to Friday.
Chris Nowrouzi, CEO of FLYGTA, made the announcement Oct. 10 at Billy Bishop airport.
“As of Nov. 6 of this year … we’re expanding and adding scheduled services to the Region of Waterloo International Airport, to Lake Simcoe Barrie airport, and we hope after talks with London airport to add a scheduled service into London airport as well,” he said.
A flight between Oro-Medonte and Toronto will cost $129, including taxes and fees.
The plane seats eight passengers.
FLYGTA, is a Canadian airline serving the Southern Ontario region. Currently, the airline serves two destinations with scheduled flights: Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and St. Catharines/Niagara District Airport. This began in September, 2016, with two flights daily on weekdays.
“It was so successful that, only … eight months later, the airport doubled the number of flights during the week and they added weekends,” said Niagara District Airport vice-chair Robin Garrett.
This success has allowed FLYGTA to increase its flights from Billy Bishop to Oro-Medonte, Waterloo and London, Nowrouzi said.
“The start of the Niagara project allowed us to implement a perfect model, which has not been implemented before in the Toronto region or anywhere near here, for that matter, that is operating out of private terminals in order to commit to scheduled service,” he said.
Air travel in Southern Ontario is expected to double in the next three decades, and these added flights begin to address that growing demand. Howard Eng, president and CEO of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, was at Lake Simcoe Regional Airport in Oro-Medonte in May to announce the creation of the Southern Ontario Airport Network (SOAN), a partnership of 11 airports that includes Lake Simcoe, Peterborough Airport and Toronto Pearson International Airport. The network will work together to accommodate the expected growth in passengers from 50 million today to 110 million by the early 2040s.
Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman attended the Toronto announcement and said it’s an exciting day for Barrie, Oro-Medonte and the County of Simcoe.
“The best solution I can think of for the traffic between Barrie and Toronto is to fly right over it in 19 minutes,” Lehman said. “It is just a delight as the mayor of the City of Barrie that our business community will be able now to have this option for travel.”
He noted SOAN can provide additional connectivity at a time when congestion challenges on roadways represent a significant barrier to growing the economy.
Nowrouzi said he expects to add more flights between Oro-Medonte and Toronto by January.
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