A cheap flight from Alberta may be the best bet to get Rupertities straight to Vegas.
YPR is working with Calgary-based Enerjet and its consultant Ross Brown to provide Prince Rupert with a Boeing 737 flight to Vegas.
“Sooner or later it will happen,” said Rick Reed, YPR manager.
“Las Vegas is an attractive place that people always want to go to.”
Reed said Enerjet will be enticing Albertans to fly to Prince Rupert with bargain bin seat prices. While Albertans visit or work in Prince Rupert, those on the North Coast can fly out to the Nevada hot spot.
“[A jet to Prince Rupert] costs money and flying empty costs big money. Filling as many seats as possible helps pay for that trip over to Rupert,” Reed said.
Albertan passengers would remain in the community, while Prince Rupert passengers would board the plane and make a stop in Prince George to pick up additional passengers. Commuters from both communities would return on the same aircraft and be dropped off in their communities before Albertans fly home from Prince Rupert.
Part of the reason for the stop in Prince George is that the airport there is an international one, set-up to deal with customs and immigrations services that aren’t offered at the Prince Rupert airport.
But likely to come before flights to Vegas are flights from Rupert to Victoria during busier times of the year. YPR is currently working with Yukon-based Air North to move residents to Vancouver Island around holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving when there’s an increased demand.
“That will probably bear fruit faster than the [Las Vegas flight],” Reed said, estimating both flights could be in place by the end of 2013.
YPR has seen a 4.5 per cent increase in passengers through the first part of 2013, and that has created demand for an additional Air Canada flight to Vancouver on Saturday. As a result, there will now be two round-trip flights to Vancouver seven days a week.
“We’re glad they have added that flight, and are responding to the market demand here in the community where traffic is up… it’s a positive sign,” said Reed.