WestJet flights between Dawson Creek and Calgary take off

Air service returns to Dawson Creek as WestJet Link connects city to WestJet’s global hub

CALGARY, AB, Sept. 8, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, WestJet launched its newest route with the departure of WestJet Link flight 3027 connecting Calgary and Dawson Creek, B.C. The inaugural marks a new link for the regions’ business, travel and tourism markets as WestJet becomes the only carrier to provide nonstop service between the Peace River Region and its largest hub in Calgary, where the airline is the largest carrier, offering the most seats and flights.

“Our guests in both Calgary and the Peace River Region have been patiently awaiting this important milestone and we are thrilled to bring air service to the community,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “As we continue to build back our network, Dawson Creek will benefit from lower fares and connectivity across our network as we strive to reconnect Canadians for business and leisure.”

Upon flight 3027’s arrival in Dawson Creek, the inaugural service was celebrated by Dawson Creek Mayor Dale Bumstead alongside Chris Hedlin, WestJet’s Vice-President of Network Planning and key regional business leaders.

“The City of Dawson Creek is so pleased to welcome WestJet into our city and the entire South Peace region of Northeast BC. This new direct service to Calgary is so important to the economic development of our city,” said Dale Bumstead, Mayor, Dawson Creek. “The Energy, Forestry and Mining sectors are all very important to our region and this new service will be a welcome addition for industry while also providing our residents with nonstop air service to WestJet’s global hub in Calgary for their leisure and business travel.”

The new service and new route for WestJet operates four times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.  WestJet Link flights are operated through a capacity purchase agreement with Pacific Coastal Airlines using its fleet of WestJet-branded 34-seat Saab 340 aircraft.

With the addition of Calgary-Dawson Creek service, WestJet Link now operates five routes between Calgary and Cranbrook, Lethbridge, Lloydminster and Medicine Hat and three between Vancouver and Cranbrook, Nanaimo and Comox.

Details of WestJet’s service between Calgary and Dawson Creek:

RouteFrequencyStart DateDepartureArrival
Calgary – Dawson Creek4x weeklySeptember 8, 20213:30 p.m4:37 p.m
Dawson Creek – Calgary4x weeklySeptember 8, 20215:15 p.m8:13 p.m

Additional quotes

“With many development projects happening across western Canada, the addition of WestJet’s Calgary to Dawson Creek, B.C. route is an important connection that supports economic development, benefiting both provinces,” said Chris Miles, Vice President, Operations & Infrastructure for The Calgary Airport Authority. “This route also provides guests in Northern B.C. direct access to Alberta and destinations across the country with YYC’s extensive connecting flight network.”

“We are very excited to be a part of the new air service to Dawson Creek,” says Pacific Coastal Airlines President, Quentin Smith. “We are pleased to see WestJet Link grow and look forward to our continued partnership and linking communities to the WestJet network.”

About WestJet 
In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All promise. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com

Seven regional airports across the Prairies receiving more than $4 million to maintain regional connectivity and jobs

Targeted Government of Canada support will be provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada

WINNIPEG, MB, Aug. 4, 2021 /CNW/ – Regional air transportation is crucial to local economic growth, the movement of goods and the connectivity of Canadians across the country. The pandemic has had major impacts on regional air transportation ecosystems, affecting communities and local businesses from coast to coast to coast.

Prairie regional airports get an economic boost (CNW Group/Western Economic Diversification Canada)
Prairie regional airports get an economic boost (CNW Group/Western Economic Diversification Canada)

The Government of Canada’s Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI), launched in March 2021, fosters access to air transportation and supports regional ecosystems. In particular, it enables regional air carriers and airports to remain operational in these difficult times and to continue contributing to regional economic growth, while adapting to new post-COVID-19 realities and requirements.

Prairie airports to benefit from funding

With this in mind, Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, announced up to $4,012,480 in RATI funding for seven regional airports in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. This funding will enable these airports to overcome challenges that were brought on by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regional air transportation is key to the economic development of communities and businesses across Canada. Since it helps draw Canadians to rural and remote communities to work and raise their families, while also providing reliable connectivity with urban centres, it plays a crucial role in a just, inclusive recovery for all, throughout the country.

Quotes

 “It is important to protect our regional air transportation ecosystems for the thousands of workers employed by this sector and for the many businesses and communities that depend on it. We know that air connectivity to all regions is essential to healthy, inclusive economic growth, and supporting it is part of our plan to build back a stronger, more resilient economy.”

–       The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

“Regional airports and infrastructure are important to residents and businesses across the Prairies. They play a critical role for the economy as people depend on them for both personal and business travel and to access services in larger centres. This funding will go a long way to getting these assets back on their feet as Canada begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and we reopen our economy.”

–       Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (Canada Water Agency)

“We are excited to welcome news of support for regional connectivity. Remote communities such as ours depend on air connectivity to bolster economic activity and growth of entire sectors and industries. Reliable air connectivity not only supports thousands of jobs, but also ensures the viability of our airport which is critical to the sustainability of our community.”

–       RJ Steenstra, President & CEO, Fort McMurray Airport Authority

 “The Town of La Ronge is very appreciative for the $300,000 investment from the federal government in the La Ronge airport. The investment will not only help a critical asset in our region economy recover from COVID, it will help improve the competitiveness of our airport and speed up the recovery timelines. On behalf of Council, we are very thankful for the investment.”

–       Colin Ratushniak, Mayor of the Town of La Ronge, Saskatchewan

“As a small community, connectivity is vital for both for our economy and our residents. As the operator of a regional airport, we appreciate any help we can get as it lessens the burdens on us and our taxpayers and allows us to remain connected.”

–       Herb Jaques, Mayor of The Town of The Pas, Manitoba

Projects being funded:

RecipientLocationFunding
City of LethbridgeLethbridge, ABup to $583,480
City of Medicine HatMedicine Hat, ABup to $549,840
Fort McMurray Airport AuthorityFort McMurray, ABup to $1,596,160
Town of High LevelHigh Level, ABup to $348,000
City of Prince AlbertPrince Albert, SKup to $300,000
Town of La RongeLa Ronge, SKup to $300,000
Town of The PasThe Pas, MBup to $335,000
                                                           Total Fundingup to $4,012,480

Quick facts

  • RATI, administered by the regional development agencies (RDAs), has a national budget of $206 million.
  • The Initiative supports regional air ecosystems—which include regional air carriers and airports, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises and non-profit organizations—in developing and implementing enhanced services for improved regional connectivity.
  • RATI complements measures implemented by Transport Canada.

Associated links

WestJet reconnecting Alberta routes

Airline to restart 10 routes across province and inaugurate new service from Edmonton to Penticton, Kamloops and Nanaimo

Non-stop service between Calgary-Charlottetown to launch on July 29

CALGARY, AB, June 25, 2021 /CNW/ -WestJet is further restoring Alberta’s domestic and interprovincial connectivity with the restart of 10 routes to and from destinations across British Columbia, the Yukon, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia from Calgary, Edmonton and Medicine Hat. The airline will also start operation of three new routes to and from Edmonton and begin non-stop service between Calgary and Charlottetown. Full schedule details and resumption dates are outlined below.

“We continue to work towards the restoration of our pre-COVID domestic network to ensure that when our guests are ready to travel, we are there for them,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “WestJet remains committed to building back stronger for the betterment of all Canadians, and as we look ahead to reconnecting friends, family and loved ones, the safe restart of travel is essential to Canada’s economic recovery.”

Connecting Alberta to Prince Edward Island non-stop

After being delayed due to the pandemic, WestJet will bridge new domestic connections between the east and the west with the introduction of new twice-weekly, non-stop service between Charlottetown, P.E.I., and Calgary, beginning July 29. The service connecting the two provinces was previously scheduled to start in June 2020.

WestJet’s investments are critical to ensuring Alberta’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and this July, WestJet will offer non-stop service from Calgary to 42 cities and from Edmonton to 16 cities. 

“This week’s meeting with more than 70 Northern Alberta industry partners demonstrates the value of listening to our partners as we enter the recovery phase of the pandemic. We thank Premier Kenney and his government for leading the safe restart of travel for Albertans. While progress has been made in Alberta, we continue to advocate for a safe travel framework from the Government of Canada,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President.

Love Where You’re Going Again – WestJet’s Latest Video

For more than 17 months, Canadians from coast-to-coast have been separated from the people and places they love. WestJet’s latest brand moment is a reminder to Canadians that it’s time to love where they’re going, again.

Alberta route restarts between now and July 6, 2021

RoutePeak FrequencyRoute restart date
Edmonton – Nanaimo*2x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Edmonton – Regina 6x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Edmonton – Comox 5x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Calgary – Prince George4x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Calgary – London, Ont.4x weeklyJune 25, 2021
Edmonton – Winnipeg 6x weeklyJune 30, 2021
Calgary – Windsor2x weeklyJune 26, 2021
Calgary – Whitehorse2x weeklyJune 27, 2021
Calgary – Medicine Hat5x weeklyJune 27, 2021
Edmonton – Halifax 2x weeklyJuly 1, 2021
Edmonton – Penticton*2x weeklyJuly 3, 2021
Edmonton – Kamloops*2x weeklyJuly 4, 2021
Edmonton – Saskatoon 6x weeklyJuly 6, 2021
Calgary – Charlottetown *2x weeklyJuly 29, 2021
*New route

About WestJet 

In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

Government of Canada investing in safety at airports in Alberta

OTTAWA, ON, May 19, 2021 /CNW/ – From traveling to medical appointments, getting goods to market, distributing PPE and medical supplies, or delivering vaccines, Canadians rely on safe and well-maintained local airports to support vibrant communities. These airports also provide essential air services, more so during this Covid-19 pandemic, including community resupply, air ambulance, search and rescue, and forest fire response.

The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister and Special Representative for the Prairies, on behalf of the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, today announced that the Government of Canada is making important safety investments at airports in Alberta.

Through Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP), the Government of Canada will provide over $20 million to the following Alberta airports for safety-related projects:

Fort Chipewyan

  • Rehabilitation of airside pavement – $11,021,416

Grande Prairie

  • Replacement of generator and airport signage – $612,871
  • Replacement of sand storage shed – $134,680

Lethbridge

  • Rehabilitation of airfield pavement – $7,379,719

Lloydminster

  • Purchase of a de-icing trailer – $105,000

Medicine Hat

  • Rehabilitation of airfield electrical system – $957,241

For 2021-2022, Transport Canada has allocated ACAP funding to 63 airports for 86 safety-related projects,   including runway and taxiway repairs/rehabilitation, lighting enhancements, purchasing snow clearing equipment and firefighting vehicles and installing wildlife fencing.

Since the Airports Capital Assistance Program started in 1995, the Government of Canada has invested over   $1.1 billion for 1,088 projects at 199 airports across the country.

Quotes

“We know how vital airports are to urban centres and remote communities. The investment our government is making will help ensure continued safe and reliable airport operations for residents, many of whom depend on their local airports not only for personal travel and business, but also for community resupply of essential goods and access to routine and emergency medical care in larger centres. This is part of how we build stronger more resilient and inclusive communities across Canada.”

The Honourable Jim Carr
Minister and Special Representative for the Prairies

“Our Government recognizes that airports are major contributors to the economic growth and social well-being of smaller communities, and local airport workers. In addition to supporting personal travel, local airports are key connectors for business, health care, social services, and emerging resource development sectors. These investments will improve access to safe, reliable and efficient air transportation options, and will help us deliver our promise to build safer, healthier and stronger communities across Canada. This is more important than ever as we work towards reopening our economies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

Quick Facts

  • As announced in the Fall Economic Statement (FES) 2020, the Airports Capital Assistance Program received a one-time funding top-up of $186 million over two years.
  • As well, the FES announced the temporary expansion of eligibility for the Airports Capital Assistance Program to allow National Airport System (NAS) airports with less than one million annual passengers in 2019 to apply for funding under the Program in 2021-2022 and 2022-2023.
  • The eligible NAS airports are: Gander; Charlottetown; Saint John; Fredericton; Moncton; Thunder Bay; London; and Prince George.

Associated Links

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca

Medicine Hat airport loses commercial flight activity — for now

From CBC News – link to source story

Facility remains open for flight school, charter planes

CBC News · Posted: Apr 05, 2021

The Medicine Hat Regional Airport has gone quiet after both Air Canada, and now Westjet have pulled commercial flights temporarily. (City of Medicine Hat)

The Medicine Hat Regional Airport will no longer have any commercial flight activity, after two of its airlines pulled flights temporarily.

WestJet’s last flight was a week ago and Air Canada pulled its domestic flights in March of last year.

Airport manager Jeff Huntus says he is disappointed but not surprised. 

“To put it in perspective, we did in 2019, 75,000 passengers. So far in 2021, we’ve done about 200 passengers,” Huntus said. “If we continue to fly empty airplanes, airlines go bankrupt.”

WestJet pulled its flights from the airport last week but said they will return by June. 

There has been no word on when Air Canada will resume service to the southeastern Alberta city.

Huntus said it is easier to come back from suspended flights, than from commercial air bankruptcies.

“People understand why it’s happening,” he said. “But I think there is a great deal of pent-up demand and when things do turn around, I’m looking forward to a pretty significant increase in activity.”

Airport remains active

The airport will remain open and active. Huntus said it plays a big role in the community, even during the quiet days of the pandemic.

“There’s other activity. There’s still private pilots and recreational aviation, corporate aircraft, charters, businessmen and women flying in from across Canada to conduct business,” he said.

Medicine Hat is a medevac hub for southern Alberta.

The airport is also used by the Super T Aviation flight school, which is accepting new students, owner Terri Super said.

While it may be a tough time to think about getting into aviation, Super said she predicts charter flights becoming more popular.

“I think we will see more expansion of charter over the next little while, people can get on a charter aircraft and be in their own cohort.”

With files from Helen Pike and Natalie Valleau

WestJet to temporarily suspend service to four domestic stations

Airline to halt flights to St. John’s, London, Ont., Lloydminster and Medicine Hat as demand continues to falter from COVID-19

CALGARY, AB, Feb. 18, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, WestJet announced it will temporarily suspend operations to St. John’s, N.L., London, Ont., and Lloydminster and Medicine Hat, Alta., as of March 19, until June 24, 2021.

“We have continued to operate in the face of uncertainty as domestic and international travel restrictions and quarantines have caused demand to plummet,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “Unfortunately, with new and increasingly restrictive policies, we are left once again, with no other option than to suspend service to these communities.”

With today’s announcement, flights between St. John’s and Halifax will be suspended as of March 21, while service between London, Ont., and Toronto will cease on March 22. WestJet Link service from Calgary to Lloydminster will end on March 19, and Calgary to Medicine Hat discontinued as of March 21.

“Our ability to return to markets remains directly correlated to government policies and the prioritization of a domestic travel program,” continued Sims. “As we look ahead to contributing to the economic recovery of Canada, the relationship between testing and quarantine must evolve based on data and science.”

In June 2020, WestJet announced organizational changes through its airport transformation program. As a result of the suspensions, WestJet will be working with newly established third-party service providers in St. John’s and London, Ont., and directly with Pacific Coastal Airlines for affected WestJet Link operations in Lloydminster and Medicine Hat.

WestJet continues to operate at more than a 90 per cent reduction year over year. Guests impacted will be contacted directly regarding their options for travel to and from the regions. Service is set to resume to all communities as of June 24, 2021.

Temporary Route Suspensions:

RouteCurrent FrequencyService suspended from
Lloydminster – Calgary2x weeklyMarch 19, 2021
St. John’s – Halifax3x weeklyMarch 21, 2021
Medicine Hat – Calgary1x weeklyMarch 21, 2021
London, Ont. – Toronto4x weeklyMarch 22, 2021