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

WATCH: Rappelling down Red Deer’s Stantec Building a thrilling, scary experience

Advocate reporter chronicles his trip down the 13-storey buildling

Red Deer raises $60,000 for Make-A-Wish Foundation

27 brave residents rappell down Stantec Building

People hurt in rollover near Red Deer

Occupants of a vehicle that rolled south of Hwy 11A were airlifted… Continue reading

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

WATCH: Gazebo groundbreaking in Waskasoo

Fifty per cent of the $100,000 project is funded by a provincial government grant

Woman killed in collision near Olds

A woman is dead after a collision west of Olds Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

SUMMERLAND, B.C. — Officials in British Columbia’s Okanagan region hope that fire… Continue reading

Survivors recount deadly Missouri duck boat sinking

BRANSON, Mo. — “Grab the baby!” Those were the last words Tia… Continue reading

HMCS St. John’s to return to Halifax after six-month deployment overseas

HALIFAX — The countdown is on for the homecoming of a Halifax-class… Continue reading

Trump says lawyer taping him may be ‘illegal’

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — The Latest on President Donald Trump and his onetime… Continue reading

Spieth part of 3-way tie for British lead as Woods lurks

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland — Jordan Spieth has a share of the lead in… Continue reading

WWII hero’s lost Purple Heart returned to his family

NEW YORK — A lost Purple Heart medal has been returned to… Continue reading

California girl, 2, accidentally shot and killed by boy, 4

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Authorities say a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month