Enerjet, an ultra-low-cost airline that expressed strong interest in offering passenger service from Red Deer Airport, has gained its wings.
An investor group led by WestJet Airlines co-founder Tim Morgan announced Thursday that it will launch ultra-low-cost-carrier service in 2019, bringing affordable, low-cost air travel to millions of Canadians by this time next year.
Earlier this week, Morgan said Red Deer is on his “radar” as a potential market.
“It’s smack in the middle of Alberta, is easy to get to, and has good parking.”
With some airport upgrades, Red Deer Airport could be central enough to serve a wide area, he added.
Red Deer Airport CEO Graham Ingham was thrilled to learn Enerjet will be bringing more choice and competition to the Canadian airline market.
“That’s fantastic news,” said Ingham, who’s particularly buoyed that Morgan has a “strong interest” in exploring the opportunities of flying out of central Alberta.
Ingham said Red Deer area residents are used to driving to Calgary and Edmonton for flights. Maybe it’s time for people from the larger centres to get some deals by driving down to Red Deer, he added.
Backed by Canadian investors, Enerjet “will be rebranded, expanded and transformed into an affordable air-travel choice for Canadian travellers,” stated a release from the company.
The Calgary-based carrier will offer “an extensive network of destinations across Canada and into the U.S.”
“We believe there are millions of Canadians who would jump at the chance to have a simple, safe, and affordable alternative to the sky-high costs of air travel,” said Morgan.
Ingham has a letter of intent from a Canadian carrier that is interested in starting passenger service from Red Deer, but still cannot reveal whether it is Enerjet. He was also speaking to Swoop, Flair Air and Canada Jetlines.
Ingham is hoping to get a federal grant in the spring that would allow construction to start on a terminal expansion and apron upgrade.