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Ready, set, go: Air travel taking off again at Lethbridge Airport

File: The front of the Lethbridge airport. Global News

Air travel has been minimal in and out of the Lethbridge airport since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

WestJet says demand has recently started to pick up and the airline will now have two daily flights out of Lethbridge.

“That gives travelers so much more connection, to connect onwards from Calgary,” said Morgan Bell, manager of public relations with the airline.

Read more: WestJet Link officially takes flight, connecting Lethbridge with major hubs

The additional flights will be beneficial not only to the airline but also the communities it serves according to Bell.

“We can talk about guests going outbound from Lethbridge but it’s just as important to Lethbridge for sporting events, community events, concerts, business just in general for the at flow to be coming back in.”

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Trevor Lewington with Economic Development Lethbridge said the increase in air traffic is good news for the local economy.

Read more: Westjet speaks with stakeholders about future of travel in and out of Edmonton

“Regional airports are critical to the local economy, it’s really important for business travellers to be able to connect to other flights and travel to other centers so really important from an outbound perspective but also just as important for us, of course, is the potential for tourism, people coming to see family,” he added.

Bell said the increase in service isn’t quite where it was before the pandemic, which was three flights a day, but it’s a great start.

“If demand isn’t there and people don’t use the service then those are things that we have to look at but that is always last resort,

“We want to fly the flights, we want to connect people,” Bell explained.

Read more: Air Canada ‘indefinitely’ suspending service at Lethbridge airport beginning March 31

A statement from the City of Lethbridge reads in part “Air travel numbers, including at the Lethbridge Airport, are still nowhere near pre-pandemic levels but are currently demonstrating positive trends. We remain focused and committed to our goal of positioning the airport to be a significant economic driver for the city moving forward.”

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Air Canada, who halted service out of Lethbridge in early 2020 said in an email to Global News they do not currently have plans to resume scheduled service at the Lethbridge Airport, pointing to fleet availability as the reason.

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