CALGARY, A.B. — The ongoing oil and gas industry slump has forced Calgary-based WestJet to cut nearly a dozen daily flights out of the two major cities in Alberta, primarily to western energy hub destinations.
By March 5, 2016, the airline will slash one of its eleven daily flights between Calgary and Edmonton while direct flights from Calgary to Terrace and Prince George will also be suspended.
There will also be reduced service to other centres, including Penticton in B.C. and in Edmonton connection to Kamloops and Nanaimo will be turfed.
Service to Grande Prairie will be reduced, with company vice-president Richard Bartrem explaining, “It’s a supply and demand business and we’re seeing less demand for travel to and from energy markets.”
It has not been suggested that any of the changes is being made on a permanent basis, and to date, the airline hasn’t replied to enquiries about the impact — if any — to Fort St. John Encore service.
By this summer WestJet and its discount carrier will still operate close to 4,600 flights per week to 101 world-wide destinations, and Mr. Bartrem says demand still seems pretty strong for vacation destinations.
However, with the fall in the value of the Canadian dollar, WestJet is seeing movement away from U.S. destinations.