Flights to and from Prince Rupert Regional Airport are changing in time, not increasing in numbers, Rick Leach, airport manager, said on Oct. 1.
Wanting to clarify misconceptions, Leach told The Northern View he is aware of some incorrect information circulating online, that is creating trouble.
As of Nov. 1, schedule changes to the flights, made by Air Canada, will see a 10:45 a.m. Prince Rupert departure, to arrive in Vancouver at 12:30 p.m.
“Moving into the mornings creates more connection opportunities and just a better overall schedule,”.
Leach said, an afternoon flight leaving Prince Rupert at 3:50 p.m. and arriving in Vancouver at 5 p.m. was “just poor”.
“You sort of had to waste that day to get to Vancouver because by the time you got there it was dinnertime, and there’s really not much business you can pursue.”
“The more people we can book on the plane creates the greater opportunity we are going to get another flight,” he said. “I am hoping this spurs greater demand, and then we can get an afternoon flight or something along those lines.”
Flight demands out of the city airport have had highs and lows, the manager said. Flight frequency is a supply and demand situation, the airport manager said.
“We don’t need another 50 people to get on the plane, we just need another 10 to 15 heads, and then all of a sudden, we’re back to the load factors we were used to, Leach said. “That would put the load capacity at 75 per cent, which is a successful load factor for an airline.”
Leach said while flights are once-daily right now, historically more flights have been added during the holiday season.
“I would expect that over the holiday season, we could see another flight come in, maybe not daily, but certainly, on the heavy days, we’ve seen that happen in past years,” he said, stressing that’s what has occurred in the past, so he doesn’t want to definitely say so at this time.
“I’m just trying to create the awareness that airports like these, rise and fall on the demand of the community. So I would encourage those who can use Prince Rupert airport to do it, because it’s an important part of the commerce of the city. There’s a lot of big business here and we need to, we need to have a robust airport.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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