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

NDP won’t stop until Trans Mountain is built, says minister

Deron Bilous speaks at Red Deer chamber luncheon

Trudeau fields questions at town hall meeting in St-Hyacinthe, Que.

SAINT-HYACINTHE, Que. — Ottawa’s decision to sign the UN compact for migration… Continue reading

Americans face deadline to file paperwork for Huawei executive’s extradition

OTTAWA — American authorities are facing a key deadline at the end… Continue reading

Red Deer officials will allow Calgary to trial alcohol in parks

The result could determine if local rules are relaxed

$25-a-day child care in high demand in Red Deer

Red Deer Child Care Society hopes program will expand

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

WestJet plane heading to Victoria slides off Edmonton runway, no injuries

EDMONTON — A WestJet plane has slid off an icy taxiway at… Continue reading

Sam Bennett scores twice, Flames beat Red Wings 6-4

Flames 6, Red Wings 4 CALGARY — Sam Bennett scored twice including… Continue reading

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Company issues lifetime ban after man jumps from cruise ship

Nick Naydev posted the video last week showing him standing on the balcony of the Symphony of the Seas

Unruly passenger forces B.C.-bound flight to divert to Calgary

Police say charges are pending against a woman in her 40s

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Canadian tattoo artist inks Toronto skyline on Blue Jays pitcher Stroman

Marcus Stroman found a way to show his appreciation for Toronto when… Continue reading

Most Read