EDMONTON — Due to the downturn in Alberta’s economy, WestJet has decided to suspend several flights to and from energy markets. The move will impact a number of flights out of the Edmonton International Airport.
“We base our service in part on supply and demand and review our schedule and network on a regular basis to ensure we are meeting guests’ needs while maintaining profitable flying on behalf of our shareholders. With the downturn in the economy we are seeing less demand for travel to and from energy markets into areas across Canada including Edmonton,” Lauren Stewart, a WestJet spokesperson, said in an email to Global News.
Edmonton will also see reduced service to Abbotsford, Grande Prairie and Calgary. The following flights will be impacted:
WestJet will also be removing flights between Calgary and two B.C. destinations — Terrace and Prince George.
As well, WestJet is reducing the number of flights between Calgary and Fort McMurray, and Calgary and Brandon, Man.
The news comes as EIA celebrates its second-busiest year to date. Nearly eight million passengers passed through the doors in 2015.
“Overall, 2015 was a year of wins in the context of some challenging economic times,” Tom Ruth, EIA president and CEO, said in a media release. “Looking at the big picture, we are still Canada’s fastest-growing major airport over the past 10 years.”
EIA said domestic travel remained relatively steady in 2015, growing 0.5 per cent over 2014. International travel soared by 14.5 per cent, which the airport believes was driven by the grown of Icelandair’s service to Reykjavik and the new non-stop flight between Edmonton and Amsterdam.
Due to the low Canadian dollar, EIA said, travel to the United States dropped by 10.5 per cent in 2015.
Overall, passenger counts came in at 2.7 per cent below 2014’s record numbers, ranking 2015 as the second-highest in EIA history.
Stewart said WestJet will continue to evaluate the schedule and make changes as necessary.
All of the changes will come into effect on March 5, 2016.
With files from The Canadian Press.
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