Red Deer Airport wants a piece of WestJet action

The possibility of WestJet jumping into the regional short-haul market is good news for Red Deer Airport, says the facility’s CEO.

The possibility of WestJet jumping into the regional short-haul market is good news for Red Deer Airport, says the facility’s CEO.

“Certainly it’s a positive development, anytime we’ve got a mainline carrier looking at regional opportunities,” said R.J. Steenstra.

“The challenge will be, of course, to ensure that Red Deer is a target to be included in their network.”

And that, said Steenstra, can be advanced by a compelling business case in support of Red Deer Airport.

“We have to ensure that they understand the market potential for them here.”

The key will be showing how Central Alberta would fit into WestJet’s regional network and feed its primary network.

“If I can do that in the right way, then perhaps we’ll be successful and have the piece that we need for successful services out of Red Deer.”

WestJet pondered expansion to the Red Deer Airport almost a decade ago, but never acted. Steenstra said the 70-passenger Bombardier Q400s that WestJet is now considering are a much beetter option for Red Deer than the airline’s much larger Boeing 737s.

“The aircraft itself makes perfect sense for Red Deer Airport,” he said, pointing out that no infrastructure changes to the airport would be required.

The Q400 could easily fly to Vancouver or Winnipeg from Red Deer without having to refuel.

Letters have already been written to WestJet, and Steenstra said he’ll now be seeking to make a pitch to the airline — something he’s sure many other regional airports will also be doing.

“It’s certainly a great opportunity, but there’s still lots of work to be done.”

Despite the appeal of WestJet, Steenstra stressed that the airport continues to pursue other opportunities for passenger air service. Northwestern Air Lease, for instance, announced last year that it would offer flights between Red Deer and Kelowna, although that service has been postponed pending Transport Canada approval.

“We certainly look forward to them announcing their relaunch date, and then there are other opportunities for regional carriers that continue to percolate in the background.”

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Rebels drop home opener to Oil Kings

The Edmonton Oil Kings were simply better than the Red Deer Rebels… Continue reading

Diesel spilled in Penhold neighbourhood

Penhold Fire Department responded

House fire in Penhold

Damage estimated at $30,000

Red Deer Players host play reading for public

Audience feedback for playwright

Sylvan Lake cleanup cancelled

Weather prompts cancellation

RDC Kings topple Medicine Hat College Rattlers

Kings Matheus Alves scores twice in the win

Nurse leads Canada over South Korea 82-63 at FIBA Women’s World Cup

TENERIFE, Spain — Kia Nurse poured in 29 points to lift Canada… Continue reading

Aretha Franklin exhibit debuts with eye toward her legacy

DETROIT — The Detroit museum that hosted Aretha Franklin’s public visitations after… Continue reading

‘Anaana’s Tent’ passes Inuit songs, legends, language to a new generation

In Pangnirtung, Nunavut, on the eastern tip of Baffin Island, Rita Claire… Continue reading

Housing data decision opens door to real estate innovation, say realtors

TORONTO — Realtor Daniel Steinfeld has wanted to post home sales data… Continue reading

Ty Long kicks winning field goal, Lions come back to beat Ticats in OT

VANCOUVER — Ty Long was eager for a special moment, and he… Continue reading

Indigenous eateries take centre stage in Canada thanks to increasing awareness

VANCOUVER — Since Paul Natrall started serving Indigenous cuisine from his Mr.… Continue reading

Canada’s capital region reeling after intense tornado rips through communities

OTTAWA — Parts of Canada’s national capital were still reeling Saturday after… Continue reading

Coaches, players on Alberta university rugby team buckle up for the Broncos

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — The head coach of the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns… Continue reading

Most Read