Prince Rupert airport manager discusses meeting with Westjet

With Westjet looking at a regional service, representatives from Prince Rupert were invited to meet with the company.

With Westjet weighing their options for a regional airline service, representatives from Prince Rupert were invited to Calgary to make their pitch to the company for a stop on the north coast.

YPR manager Rick Reed was joined by economic development officer Derek Baker and others to the meeting, with only 35 airports across Canada being invited. According to Reed, the meeting was a very productive one.

“They asked a lot of questions about the community, the demographics, age, income, traffic numbers for the past several years, ticket prices and the catchment area being served,” he said.

“I think if anyone has a chance, we do. We presented them with a business case developed by a consultant to develop a Prince Rupert to Vancouver flight which, using the same aircraft, carries on to Victoria. Other than Vancouver, the next biggest market people travel to is Victoria, and we showed them the business case that would support that route.”

So far this year, numbers at the airport are up 2.64 per cent compared to last year, excluding private flights using the airport, and Reed says the projection is for a three to five per cent increase by the end of the year.

“I would look at Prince Rupert’s economy as a strong and aggressive one that is definitely on the upswing. If the projections from the Prince Rupert Port Authority come to be, we’re going to see substantial growth in the next decade or more…The wages in the community are at a fairly high level, and that gives people more discretionary income. So we’re not only seeing an increase in business travel, but also in leisure travel,” said Reed.

“We emphasized that we’re not in a boom/bust economy, but are a community that is experiencing continued growth over the next decade.”

Westjet has purchased a fleet of 20 Q400 planes from Bombardier to launch their regional service, but people in the community and the province shouldn’t expect an answer or announcement any time soon.

“They told us they were gathering information from a number of communities and would be making a decision in April or May about routes,” he said.

“The decision has not been made if the service will first be launched in eastern Canada or western Canada or a combination of both.”

Regardless of Westjet’s decision, Reed said there are some big projects being looked at out on Digby Island that include redoing the asphalt on the runway and major renovations to the terminal building.

“We are, after all, the gateway to the community. Anyone who arrives here, the terminal is their first impression. It’s clean, but it’s also pretty old,” he said, adding that the renovations will help increase the seismic rating of the building.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Dump truck and passenger vehicle involved in crash at industrial park

Two were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries, Prince Rupert RCMP still on the scene

Pinnacle pellets to feed hungry Japanese biomass industry

Canadian biomass company to sell 70,000 metric tonnes annually to Japan by end of 2019

Grade 7 students fundraise, offer donations to Prince Rupert’s wildlife shelter

Donations and funds will go to support the animal rehabilitation efforts in northern B.C.

There’s a new face (and hat) at The Northern View

A bit about the View’s spring intern, the stories he likes to write and what he thinks of Rupert

Why We Relay: Jacob Gordon will Relay for Life until he can’t anymore

The young relayer wants to carry forth his step-mother’s perseverance to find a cure for cancer

This Week Podcast — Episode 81

Learn more about the North Coast Health Improvment Society’s aim to upgrade the cancer care unit

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Driving Change: A B.C. man’s charitable trip across Canada

A Kelowna man, his bus, and his mission for positive change across our country

Case of teacher secretly filming teens reaches top court

Acquittal of teacher, Ryan Jarvis, who secretly videoed teens ‘dangerous,’ top court told

Why a 14-year-old will lead the charge at annual marijuana protest on the Hill

Marijuana enthusiasts have long been circling April 20 on their calendars as annual day of cannabis

B.C. communities await marine spill compensation years after incidents

The government maintains a Ship Source Oil Pollution Fund to compensate Canadians

RCMP say too early to know what happened in Broncos crash

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki said collission very complex

Conservative MP wants feds to close loophole for illegal border crossers

Immigration advocates call on government to suspend Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement

Alberta university criticized for honouring David Suzuki

University of Alberta plans to bestow environmentalist with honourary degree

Most Read