Air Canada is indefinitely suspending its flights between Kamloops and Calgary effective Sunday (Jan. 15), but service levels will be restored and enhanced due to added capacity by the airlines at YKA in February.
Air Canada had been operating daily flights to and from Calgary and flying three times each day between Vancouver and Kamloops.
Kamloops Airport managing director Ed Ratuski told KTW Air Canada informed the airport it would be ending the Kamloops-Calgary service due to staffing shortages back in December.
“It wasn’t completely unexpected,” Ratuski said, noting there aren’t any expected impacts to staffing as a result of the suspension and people who had booked that flight are being rerouted through Vancouver.
WestJet, in response, is adding an evening departure and arrival flight between Calgary and Kamloops to its schedule, which will go into effect in February. The decision means WestJet will increase its daily flights to and from Calgary to four from three. The airline also flies to and from Vancouver once per day.
While air travellers will no longer be able to take an Air Canada flight between Kamloops and Calgary, that airline, in February, will add a fourth Kamloops-Vancouver flight.
“And that’s largely the result of WestJet … focusing on expanding their Calgary hub to support their new international destinations, so that’s one of the reasons we’re seeing all of the additional service to Calgary from West Jet, and similarly with Air Canada through Vancouver, really pushing those connecting flights through the Vancouver market as well,” Ratuski said.
Ratuski said the service between Kamloops and Calgary and Kamloops and Vancouver is strong.
“The flights are full,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kamloops Airport continues to have discussions with a number of carriers about adding flights between the city and other destinations, such as Edmonton, Toronto and Victoria.
“Those continue to be some of our target markets for re-introduction of service,” he said. “Nothing concrete at this point, but we are actively pursuing the airlines and low-cost carriers for serving those routes, as well.”