Even with new Calgary flight, Kamloops Airport still looking for Edmonton

By James Peters
March 13, 2018 - 4:38pm Updated: March 13, 2018 - 6:17pm

KAMLOOPS — Westjet has announced another daily flight between Kamloops and Calgary, but Mayor Ken Christian says he'd like to see a direct flight to another Alberta city.

The airline said it is adding the flight because of the strong numbers, though Christian says a lot of those travelers are more interested in heading north to Edmonton.

"The fact that we've got an additional flight to Calgary reflects that a lot of people are still going to Edmonton through Calgary and that their passenger counts are very, very high, very solid, very profitable," said Christian, who is the president of the Kamloops Airport Authority Society. "So kudos to Westjet for stepping up and adding the additional equipment onto that flight. But ultimately we want to see Kamloops-Edmonton."

Christian notes Calgary is the Westjet hub, so it offers a host of connecting flights, but there is a strong connection between Kamloops and the Alberta capital to the north.

"There are an awful lot of people who work in northern Alberta and who live in Kamloops, so that commute for them is through Calgary and it's much longer and more expensive," said Christian.

The Kamloops Airport Authority Society continues to seek new destinations from Kamloops, and Christian says he hopes the demand necessitates new supply.

"I'd also like to see Kamloops-Victoria direct," said Christian. "And I really need the public to step up and support the Kamloops-Toronto flight when it becomes available because it's really a question of how many passengers are in seats. If we're not going to use the service, they're going to shift it to another community that's looking for it and is prepared to use it."

Kamloops woman organizes shuttle service to help search for Shtuka