WestJet announces service to Calgary from Fredericton starting June 20

Click to play video: 'New direct flight from Fredericton and Calgary launched'
New direct flight from Fredericton and Calgary launched
A new direct flight to Alberta will soon take to the skies, connecting Fredericton and Calgary. Although the flight schedule will be limited, there is a sense of optimism from both the business community and those eager to connect with loved ones. Anna Mandin reports. – Apr 9, 2024

People in Fredericton will be able to fly directly to Calgary starting June 20. WestJet announced it’s returning to Fredericton after leaving in 2022.

“We feel very optimistic that there is a strong market for people wanting to go to Alberta ,” said Johanne Gallant, the CEO of Fredericton International Airport.

Sunwing Airlines, which WestJet acquired in May 2023, services southbound flights at the airport, but this opens up direct access to Western Canada.

“This is a product that the community wants, and we’re just really thrilled to meet the demand,” Andy Gibbons, the vice-president of WestJet’s external affairs, said.

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Lynx Air leaves gap

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The service also fills a gap left by Lynx, which had provided semi-direct flights to Calgary during the summers.

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That airline had marketed itself on low-cost flights but shut down in February after it filed for creditor protection.

But Gallant said there’s a demand for WestJet’s new flights.

“People also are looking for variety, to go out west, go to sun destinations, within Canada and so on, so we’re really seeing an increase of people wanting to fly,” she said.

More access to networking and visiting family

Morgan Peters, the CEO of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, said there’s already strong business connections between Calgary and Fredericton. He said the flights will open up more face-to-face networking opportunities.

“The more connections we can create to facilitate those business dealings, the better,” he said.

It’s not just business people who might benefit. Ethan McClellan was born in Fredericton and was at the airport waiting to fly back to Calgary after visiting family.

“It would certainly make it a lot more convenient, less time, so I mean that’s always better,” he said.

But he said the cost of plane tickets makes it more difficult, especially if he wants to bring his wife and three children to visit family.

As of April 9 at 5:21, the WestJet flights were listed between $368 and $420. They are scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays from June 20 to Oct. 24, but Gibbons hopes to expand from there.

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“We are in a growth mode in Atlantic Canada, and we are committed to growing,” he said.

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