Starting mid-January 2023, travellers will notice some turbulence in their travels. Air Canada is ending direct flights from Saskatchewan to and from Calgary starting next month.
In a statement, Air Canada says it is looking to rebuild in a prudent and disciplined way by deploying resources where they will be most productive. The company added that it will continue to focus on main hubs in Canada such as Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.
“As a result, we have made the difficult decision to suspend a number of regional routes from Calgary airport effective mid-Jan. 2023,” stated Air Canada.
“While changes are made on some regional routes, it is important to note that Air Canada will continue to fly to every community it currently operates in. Saskatoon and Regina will continue to see flights to/from Toronto and Vancouver.”
The Regina Airport Authority manager of customer experience and marketing said it’s going to be disappointing as there is only one flight a day to Calgary with Air Canada currently.
“They’re going to have to look at WestJet, which currently flies about three to five times a day to Calgary from Regina and in the spring, five to six times currently in their schedule,” said Justin Reves.
“So, they’re going to have to choose a different airline. But money also opens up opportunities for an ultra-low-cost carrier like Lynx, Flair or Swoop to come in and help fill that void that was left by Air Canada.”
CJ Dushinski, vice-president of business development and service quality at Skyxe Saskatoon Airport, said it was surprising news for them as they heard late last week.
“It’s a loss for the market and the community. It’s certainly disappointing,” she said. “We do hope to see Air Canada pick up some additional seats into their other hubs such as Toronto and Vancouver to help offset this loss.”
In a letter to Air Canada’s president and chief executive officer and executive vice-president and chief operations officer, the president and CEO of Economic Development Regina (EDR) expressed disappointment and highlighted the need for connectivity.
“EDR stands ready to join in these types of conversations and it is with hope and respect that we ask you
to reconsider this operational decision and commit to a renewal and eventual expansion of service to
Regina,” stated Chris Lane. “It is good for Air Canada, it is good for Regina, and it is good for the country.”
In an email statement, WestJet says it has no plans to reduce service levels to Saskatoon or Regina and will continue to focus on enhancing Western Canada’s connectivity.