No new WestJet flights here
A WestJet announcement this week says it will service Fort St. John this summer with daily flights to and from Vancouver and Calgary.
Robert Palmer, spokesperson for the company, said their first announcements involve new destinations, places that don’t have WestJet service in any form.
He said the company does three types of flights: new destinations; connecting the dots, which mean setting up services between cities WestJet already flies to, like connecting Vancouver with Victoria; or adjusting frequencies, making schedule improvements by using a better size of aircraft.
The aircraft in question, the Q400, offers great seating, speed and range ratio for regional destinations.
“WestJet will take delivery of up to 45 of these aircraft over the next five or six years,” Palmer said.
The latest announcement pertains to the company’s summer season. Palmer explained in his business there are only two seasons, summer and winter, each running six months.
“We just announced our summer schedule for the beginning of May, and it will run for six months, which means it’s status quo for Prince, for the time being at least.”
Palmer explained WestJet flies about 45,000 people on 425 flights per day. It has to consider how best to use the Q400’s it’s adding to its fleet that includes 85 cities and 18 countries.
“We will look at all the communities we fly to including Prince George for opportunities to use the Q400,” Palmer said.
Heather Oland, CEO of Initiatives Prince George, said WestJet’s decision to bring daily flights from Fort St. John to Vancouver and Calgary is a good sign for the region.
“Westjet had a choice and were looking at expanding some of their services in either Eastern or Western Canada.
“It’s really fabulous for the region of northern B.C. they chose the West first,” Oland said. “It’s a good indication of the long-term growth and sustainability in the region. It shows the increasing importance of oil and the liquified natural gas industry in B.C.”