Red Deer-Fort McMurray flights announced

The drive from Central Alberta to Fort McMurray could soon end in the parking lot of the Red Deer Airport.

The drive from Central Alberta to Fort McMurray could soon end in the parking lot of the Red Deer Airport.

Northwestern Air Lease Ltd. plans to launch twice-weekly direct passenger service from the Springbrook-based airport to the Northern Alberta city on Oct. 1. The return flight would include a stop at the Edmonton International Airport.

“There are quite a few people in Red Deer that work in Fort McMurray,” said Northwestern president Terry Harrold.

He noted that his company previously offered passenger service between Red Deer and Fort McMurray, but discontinued it in July 2010 as a result of the economic downturn.

“I think now things have ramped up pretty good.”

Although the schedule has yet to be finalized, Harrold expects one of Northwestern’s Jetstream 32 aircraft to leave Fort McMurray at 10:10 a.m. on Mondays and Fridays, and arrive in Red Deer at 12:30 p.m. after a stop in Edmonton.

The plane will then take off from the Red Deer Airport at 1 p.m. and touch down in Fort McMurray at 2:20 p.m.

The service will have an introductory one-way fare of about $200, he said.

A release issued by Northwestern and the Red Deer Airport said the frequency of flights could increase if passenger counts justify it.

Meanwhile, Northwestern suspended its scheduled air service between Red Deer and Dawson Creek, B.C. — via Edmonton — effective Monday.

Launched in May, the flights failed to attract the interest Northwestern had hoped they would.

Frequency was reduced from three days a week to two, and now the airline is reassessing the route and looking for ways to boost interest.

“We’ll probably do an add-on — either Fort St. John or Grande Prairie, or something like that,” said Harrold.

An announcement is expected in October.

Northwestern also flies between Red Deer and Kelowna on Fridays and Sundays.

Demand for this route was strong during the summer, said Harrold, but appears to have slowed with the arrival of fall.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pharmacist Aamir Hussain, owner of Shoppers Drug Mart in Clearview Market Square, said he expects vaccine to be available to eligible seniors next week at his store. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Red Deer pharmacies prepare to be part of COVID-19 immunization plan

Seniors have already been calling to book appointments

Alberta Health Services Logo
AHS checking in with local businesses about COVID-19 plan

Alberta Health Services in the central zone is reaching out to local… Continue reading

FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2019, file photo, an iPhone displays the Facebook app in New Orleans. Facebook says it’s going all in to block the spread of bogus vaccine claims. In practice, that means the social network plans to ban a new bunch of false claims in addition to the old bunch of false claims about vaccines or COVID-19 that it has already banned. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)
Facebook says it will pay $1B over 3 years to news industry

Facebook says it will choose which publishers it will support

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Aggressive arrest in Red Deer caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Butter and sourdough bread is shown at a house in Vernon, B.C. on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. A Quebec dairy farmers' group is calling on milk producers to stop feeding palm oil or its derivatives to livestock as controversy churns over how these supplements affect the consistency of butter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jesse Johnston
Dairy farmers lobby asks members to stop using palm oil in feed after ‘buttergate’

A dairy producers’ lobbying group is asking farmers to consider alternatives to… Continue reading

A new report says Canada’s small businesses now collectively owe more than $135 billion as they struggle to survive the pandemic, a staggering amount experts say could hurt the country’s economic recovery. (Photo by The Canadian Press)
Canadian small businesses rack up $135 billion in debt to survive pandemic: Report

TORONTO — Canada’s small businesses have collectively taken on $135 billion in… Continue reading

A Loblaws store is seen in Montreal on March 9, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Loblaw ready to call on pharmacists, supply chain to help COVID-19 vaccine rollout

BRAMPTON, Ont. — Loblaw Companies Ltd. says its ready to play a… Continue reading

Imperial Oil logo as seen at the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Friday, April 29, 2016.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Imperial Oil reports one-billion-barrel drop in bitumen reserves at end of 2020

CALGARY — Imperial Oil Ltd. is cutting one billion barrels from its… Continue reading

Justice Minister David Lametti responds to a question during a news conference about training for judges Monday, Oct. 19, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Justice Minister David Lametti proposes permanent justice reforms in wake of pandemic

OTTAWA — The COVID-19 pandemic appears set to force a modernization of… Continue reading

Justice Minister David Lametti during a news conference in Ottawa, Thursday Nov. 26, 2020. Lametti says he will seek parliamentary approval to remove a Quebec judge from the bench after the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear the judge’s appeal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Justice minister to seek judge’s removal after Supreme Court declines to hear appeal

OTTAWA — Justice Minister David Lametti says he will seek parliamentary approval… Continue reading

Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy Vice-Admiral Art McDonald is seen during an interview with The Canadian Press in Ottawa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Military reeling as new defence chief steps aside amid allegations of misconduct

OTTAWA — The Canadian Armed Forces is reeling after news defence chief… Continue reading

William Sandeson arrives at provincial court in Halifax on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015. Canada’s top court has declined to hear a Crown appeal of an overturned murder conviction in the case of a former Nova Scotia medical student. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Supreme Court declines to hear Crown appeal of overturned N.S. murder conviction

Canada’s top court has declined to hear an appeal from the Crown… Continue reading

Most Read