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

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

A message from the Advocate publisher

In good times and bad, The Red Deer Advocate has been here… Continue reading

Sunchild First Nation man reported missing

Contact Rocky Mountain RCMP

WATCH: Firefighters, RCMP help Red Deer boy celebrate 3rd birthday

Firefighters and RCMP officers helped a Red Deer boy celebrate his third… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

There’s no reason MPs couldn’t have rejected pay hike

Parliament members donating raises to charity runs shallow, and to suggest nothing… Continue reading

Fiscal transparency would help

Way back before the COVID-19 crisis came upon us, the federal government… Continue reading

A message from Waskasoo Medical Clinic

A Message From Waskasoo Medical Clinic Waskasoo Medical Clinic (including our walk-in… Continue reading

UPDATE: Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Michael Dawe: Public projects often play a role in creating jobs during tough times

At the end of October 1929, the New York stock market collapsed… Continue reading

Sylvan Lake photographer captures family life from the front steps

Deb McNeil is taking porch portraits to share the uniqueness of families during COVID-19

Most Read