Westjet reducing service between Fort St. John and Vancouver

A WestJet Encore plane at the North Peace Regional Airport in June, 2013. Photo by Erica Fisher

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – After Westjet posted its first quarterly loss in 13 years, the airline says that it will be reducing service on a number of routes across the country this fall, including the route between Fort St. John and Vancouver.

Westjet spokesperson Lauren Stewart said that effective October 28th, service between YXJ and YVR will be decreasing by five weekly flights, resulting in just a daily flight between the two destinations.

Stewart said that the airline had anticipated stronger demand on the Vancouver/Fort St. John route that did not materialize, and therefore it will be reducing service on this route by five flights a week.

“We appreciate and recognize that this is unfortunate news for the community affected and will continue to evaluate the situation and make changes as necessary,” said Stewart in an email. “Network decisions about routes and frequency are based on data, sophisticated planning tools, guest feedback and ultimately, consumer demand. The decisions to remove a route are not taken lightly, and all trade-offs are weighed against the benefits. Ultimately, we have a responsibility to use our assets to provide a service that most guests are looking for and that gives a reasonable return on investment for our shareholders.”

Westjet announced that it was increasing service to two round-trip flights on weekdays between Fort St. John and Vancouver in January, extending the additional service in the Spring.

Stewart said that Westjet Encore Flight 3205, which departs Fort St. John at 5:10 a.m. on weekdays and Westjet Encore Flight 3206, which arrives at 11:22 p.m. on weekdays, are the flights that will be cut.