Swanberg Air Inc. has launched the second phase of its scheduled passenger service at the Red Deer Regional Airport. And Rich Wilde, the company’s general manager, is hinting that more routes could follow.
On Monday, the airline introduced a morning flight from Grande Prairie that stops at Red Deer, Calgary, Swift Current, Regina and Estevan, Sask. The plane returns via the same route later in the day.
The service is available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Swanberg has been operating out of the Red Deer Regional Airport since Oct. 14, when it began offering passenger service from Calgary and continuing on to Edmonton and Grande Prairie. Available Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the flight returns later through the same airports.
“It’s gone pretty well,” said Wilde of the Calgary-Red Deer- Edmonton-Grande Prairie route. “We’ve had good loads out of there and we’re pretty happy with it right now.”
He added that demand is likely to increase in the coming months.
“Just because travel is more difficult by road, so people are more interested in flying.”
Plus, added Wilde, increased seasonal activity in the energy sector usually translates into more air travel for oil and gas company personnel.
Swanberg is already exploring opportunities for further expansion that could be implemented as early as next spring.
“There are some that would directly affect Red Deer that we’re looking at,” said Wilde.
“We’ll be monitoring to see how the passenger loads are.”
Swanberg also offers charter services.
Northwestern Air Lease Ltd., the only other commercial airline to offer scheduled passenger service out of the Red Deer Regional Airport, currently flies between Red Deer and Fort McMurray. Officials with Northwestern announced in September that the company plans to add flights from Red Deer to Kelowna and Abbotsford, B.C. in the spring.