Ontario Independent

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Deer Lake Airport has arranged for a new twice-weekly flight to Ontario

Deer Lake Airport has landed a new twice-weekly flight to Ontario.

Key takeaways:

  • A twice-weekly scheduled route between the hamlet on Newfoundland’s west coast and Kitchener-Waterloo will launch an “ultra-low-cost” airline.
  • The Newfoundland and Labrador government has collaborated with the Deer Lake Airport on this project.

It’s a first for Deer Lake Airport and one of the province’s firsts.

Late next spring, an “ultra-low-cost” aeroplane service will launch a twice-weekly, scheduled service between the village on Newfoundland’s west coast and Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont.

The agreement with Flair Airlines was announced at the airport’s new brand launch on Friday.

Also read: Toronto confirms first cases of omicron as Ontario reports 1,031 fresh COVID-19 cases

“I believe it will largely be family and relatives, but it may also be tourists who want to visit Newfoundland and Labrador but cannot afford to do so for whatever reason,” said Tammy Priddle, president, and CEO of the airport.

“The flights will be one-way and will cost roughly $49… It truly opens up a world of possibilities.”

She believes that opportunities will arise due to greater traffic or other airlines taking notice. Priddle sees the Flair announcement as a critical step in moving through the pandemic’s aviation slowdown, even if she predicts air travel numbers to not rebound to 2019 levels for another three to four years.

“It will pique the curiosity of other airlines, and whenever you have growth — and this is growth — people will want to see what’s going on in Deer Lake, and we’re extremely lucky to be placed where we are,” she said.

For more than a year, Flair Airlines has expanded its fleet and route network. Flair’s director of network planning and scheduling, Eric Tanner, claims the company is the fastest-growing in the country, with 20 planes planned by the end of next year, up from the current 12 planes.

According to him, flair has been considering launching a service to Newfoundland and Labrador for some time.

Deer Lake Airport secures new twice-weekly flight to Ontario
Deer Lake Airport secures new twice-weekly flight to Ontario

“The prices for air travel here are extremely, very exorbitant,” Tanner explained. “So when the chance arose where we had some aircraft deliveries coming next summer, Deer Lake began to appear as a really attractive potential.”

The pandemic has shaken the airline sector all over the world. Expats in the area and visitors to western Newfoundland and the Kitchener-Waterloo area are anticipated to use the new service.

The Newfoundland and Labrador government has collaborated with the Deer Lake Airport on this project. 

According to Premier Andrew Furey, other jurisdictions are watching to incentivize air travel and look at measures to breathe fresh life into the aviation business. He was on hand for Friday’s announcement. He claims that the province is developing its plan, with tourism playing a key role.

“The aviation industry, perhaps higher than any other industry in the world, has been shaken — the tourism sector has been rocked,” he said. 

“However, we can rethink and reimagine how we do that, as evidenced by immunization rates around the country, particularly in this province. 

It will most likely not look the same as it did before the pandemic, but we must consider how to proceed strategically.”

The inaugural Flair Airlines flight will take place on June 8.

Source: CBC News

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