Securing non-stop service to Edmonton has been a top priority for the Nanaimo Airport team for several years. Unfortunately the dropping oil prices have created a new priority for one of our Airline partners.
“With major economic influences at play, such as the recession in Alberta, WestJet Encore has made the difficult decision to suspend service from Nanaimo to Edmonton starting March 5,” says Mike Hooper, President and CEO of Nanaimo Airport (YCD).” We’re told we are not alone as a number of cities in several western provinces are affected by route cancellations and frequency reductions.”
WestJet Encore’s twice daily service to Calgary will remain. Central Island residents will be able to continue to fly to Edmonton via connections in Calgary or Vancouver.
“We understand it’s the right business decision for WestJet,” says Hooper. “So we need to use the time that’s left to ensure when the economy picks up, YCD-YEG is one of the first routes to be reinstated.”
The Nanaimo Edmonton non-stop service started in December 2015. As these are non-peak travel months, the Airport team is realistic it will need residents’ help to demonstrate the full potential for the route.
With that in mind, the Airport kicks off the “Show Your Love” campaign, created to encourage Central Island Residents to share the strong connection and commitment they have to Edmonton and why this route is important.
“As the service operates until March 5, we have a month to gauge the true interest for the route,” explains Hooper. “We’re asking Central Island Residents to “Show Your Love”, and participate in the campaign.
Residents’ can express their “love” in a number of ways:
• Sharing a personal story and connection as why travel to Edmonton is important to them. This can be done at Showyourlove.NanaimoAirport.com
• Those that have used the non-stop service, are encouraged to post the “Show Your Love” icon on their social media pages with a story of the trip and the purpose to share with their friends.
• If you were thinking of travelling to Edmonton, accelerate your travel plans, and book a trip using the service before the March 5 suspension.
The airport team will compile all the “love” and use it to develop a business case to discuss reinstatement once the aircraft are again deployed to Western Canada.