Red Deer Airport looks to future with ultra low-cost carrier market. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Airport looking to join ultra low-cost carrier market

New direction for Red Deer Airport

Red Deer Airport is disappointed Air Canada will discontinue flights between Red Deer and Calgary, but looks forward to seeing ultra low-cost carriers with larger planes land at the local airport.

Airport CEO Graham Ingham said Air Canada’s announcement is not going to affect the airport going forward.

“We’re sad to see them go, but we’re also working on some other opportunities. From our perspective, it’s full steam ahead,” Ingham said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Air Canada said as of Nov. 1 it will no longer operate its three daily flights.

Ingham said Air Canada has been flying Beechcraft 1900D aircraft, an 18 seater, and ultra low-cost carriers use 737s which have about 140 seats.

“We’ve been in high-level discussions with Canada Jetlines as well as another company called Enerjet, and both have expressed interest in providing service to the Red Deer Airport. But neither one of those are up and flying yet.”

He said ultra low-cost carriers are new to Canada and a big part of their business model is taking advantage of low-cost secondary airports like Red Deer that is able to draw from Central Alberta’s 300,000 population, as well as Calgary and Edmonton.

Hopefully this year there will be a more definitive commitment to pursue opportunities at the Red Deer Airport, followed by work on a time schedule, he said.

“We’ve got a lot to offer here — free parking, small terminal, get in, get off the airplane really quick. So we’re hoping that’s the direction we’re going to head in.”

When Air Canada pulls out in November there will be no scheduled air service at the airport, but charter work for oil field workers has been consistent, he said.

“Every week we’re doing flights up to Grande Prairie and Fort St. John. That picked up last year which was a good sign the economy is starting to recover somewhat. And a big part of airport is flight training we do.”

Both Sky Wings Aviation Academy and Montair Aviation are running pretty much at capacity. Most of Montair’s students come from China, he said.

Ingham said about 200 acres of airport land to the north will become available for development once Red Deer County puts in a road linking Hwy 2A to Township Road 374 in the next year or so.

“That in itself will be a great opportunity and a huge economic driver for Red Deer and Central Alberta.”

Red Deer Airport is currently home to 19 aviation-related businesses employing about 250 full-time staff.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Shipping oil by rail questioned

Red Deer-area mayors respond

Country star Gord Bamford and The Reclaws perform free Games concert Friday

Show starts at 6:30 p.m. in heated dome off Celebration Plaza in downtown Red Deer

Survey looks at social isolation among older men

Partnership between Red Deer College and Golden Circle Resource Centre

Peruvian brothers travel nearly 8,000 km to volunteer at Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Italo and Mirko Del Castillo say Canadian warmth contrasts with twinter cold

Pride Days celebrated for first time at Canada Winter Games on Feb. 21 and 28

Pride Days are another first for Red Deer’s 2019 Canada Winter Games.… Continue reading

Gardening: What are you planting in 2019?

What’s new in plants for 2019? Checking catalogues, greenhouses and stores will… Continue reading

Opinion: I spy another energy hypocrite

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. The mittens provided to… Continue reading

Canada’s bobsleigh team races World Cup on Calgary home track facing closure

CALGARY — Canada’s skeleton and bobsled teams will race a World Cup… Continue reading

Italy becomes ninth international football league to join forces with CFL

TORONTO — Add Italy to the growing list of international football federations… Continue reading

Toronto Defiant Overwatch academy team to be known as the Montreal Rebellion

MONTREAL — The Toronto Defiant’s Overwatch academy team will be known as… Continue reading

Canadian fashion and design insiders recall Karl Lagerfeld’s charm, ingenuity

TORONTO — Several Canadian fashion and design experts who knew couture icon… Continue reading

Millennial Money: Make your funds move at the speed of life

Change is constant — especially when you’re young. Chances are you’ll cycle… Continue reading

TSB says improved tankers involved in Manitoba derailment that spilled crude

ST. LAZARE, Man. — Federal investigators say CN rail cars that spilled… Continue reading

Most Read