Air Canada ending flights from Winnipeg to Saskatoon, Thunder Bay

News provided by Saskatoon StarPhoenix – with a hint from K.W. – Thanks

The airline says the routes were not operating at a level where it made sense to continue flying them, and flights will end March 31.

SASKATOON STARPHOENIX Updated: February 25, 2019

Air Canada is ending flights from Saskatoon to Winnipeg and Thunder Bay on March 31. PETER J THOMPSON/NATIONAL POST

Canada’s largest airline says commercial reasons are behind the decision to end flights between Saskatoon and Winnipeg and Winnipeg and Thunder Bay.

Air Canada confirmed on Monday that it will cease flying the routes on March 31, calling it a “difficult decision.”

“The routes from Winnipeg to Saskatoon and to Thunder Bay regrettably did not perform at a level that would make commercial sense for us to continue operating,” Air Canada spokeswoman Angela Mah said in a statement.

“The factors we look at include demand between the two cities, aircraft availability and overall profitability,” Mah added.

She said anyone booked on one of the affected flights after March 31 will be contacted, either by the airline or their travel agent, to make alternate travel arrangements or obtain a refund.

The Saskatoon Airport Authority, which operates the John G. Diefenbaker International Airport, has said 2018 was its busiest year on record with 1,518,980 passengers, up 3.8 per cent from 2017.

As of last month, the airport had 25 direct routes allowing passengers to reach 245 destinations, the most popular of which are Calgary, Toronto and Edmonton.

WestJet Airlines Ltd., the other major airline that flies out of Saskatoon, offers non-stop flights to Winnipeg from Saskatoon, as well as connecting flights to Thunder Bay.