NewLeaf takes a break from Kamloops, promises to return

By James Peters
September 16, 2016 - 9:14am Updated: September 16, 2016 - 8:04pm

KAMLOOPS — NewLeaf Travel says it is suspending some of its flights this fall, and Kamloops is on the chopping block.

But the discount carrier says it won't be long before its planes visit the Tournament Capital again.

Kamloops Airport Manager Fred Legace says NewLeaf has told him it is suspending certain flights until it can get more aircraft into its stable.

"We're looking at, here in Kamloops, November and into December that we could see them reduce the flights here," says Legace. "Probably about mid-December, once they get more airplanes into their fleet, they'll be able to resume flights then."

Legace says the carrier has been happy with its customer response in Kamloops, so that's not the problem.

"The briefing that I got suggests that this is all around airplane time, so it's really a question of acquiring more aircraft into the fleet and that should do the trick. They've expressed to me that they're pretty happy with the market here in Kamloops so I anticipate this should just be a momentary glitch."

On the company's website, the last flight available to book to either Victoria or Edmonton is on Wednesday, October 26.

Legace notes taking some short term pain may be the best decision for the company's long term health.

"The question that I always have in the back of my mind is on their profitability. That's what I really want to see. It's really simple to carry a lot of people on airplanes. In the aviation business, it's a lot harder to make a buck doing it."

"I'm actually pretty happy that they've made admittedly some tougher decisions in the short term to prepare themselves for the longer term. I think that speaks well that there's some good fiscal management at the helm and it plays out in the schedule. The short break is probably not a big deal in the long term and just to know that they'll be back is good news."

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