Air Canada is grounding its flights from Red Deer to Calgary.
As of Nov. 1, the airline will no longer operate its three daily flights between Calgary and Red Deer. Air Canada first began offering the flights in September 2013.
“Any time a company makes a decision to pull operations out of Red Deer, that’s not good for the economy,” said Robin Bobocel, Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce CEO.
“But it’s probably not a surprise that they’ve done this. We were probably on borrowed time with them anyway.”
Bobocel said the chamber is in the early stages of finding out what it will take to bring customs services to the airport. He said that will allow for an increase in traffic at the airport.
He also hoped it was a “temporary situation” and that flights may return to Red Deer, through Air Canada or another airline.
Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer said the city was disappointed to hear the news.
“The Red Deer Airport plays such a significant role in economic growth, development and diversification for Red Deer and region,” said Veer.
“The city will need to work with both Red Deer County and the Red Deer Regional Airport in terms of understanding the financial implications of this decision and any potential impacts that has.”
In a statement from Air Canada said the route was not meeting the required financial performance targets.
“We always look to schedule the right aircraft at the right times to the right destinations. The three times daily Red Deer-Calgary flights were scheduled to connect to and from our other flights across North America and internationally at our Calgary Hub. Air Canada reviews all schedules worldwide on a regular basis, and adjustments are made based on commercial factors, including demand.”
The flights were operated by Air Georgian under the Air Canada Express service. It ran three flights daily in a 19-seat Beech aircraft.