As WestJet profits continue to soar reaching their second-highest profits this quarter, a company representative stopped in the Border City to discuss the growth of the airline and its support of smaller Canadian cities.
Westjet manager of public affairs Robert Palmer went through some of the history of the company as well as how it changed its services at the weekly Rotary Club meeting on October 28.
Since it started in June 2018, WestJet Link has operated 7,000 flights from Calgary to Lloydminster, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Cranbrook and Prince George. Palmer showed how the company operates and how they’ve managed to stay profitable for 86 of its last 88 quarters.
In its most recent quarter, WestJet earned $119.4 million which is the second-highest in the airline’s history.
Mayor Gerald Aalbers says it’s a great relationship and hopes they can enhance it as it will bring in more people from surrounding communities and help boost the city’s economy.
“Surrounding communities as far north as Cold Lake, people are excited to drive to Lloydminster to get on an airplane here and not have to drive to Edmonton, Calgary or Saskatoon. We add a lot of value to people and when they come to the community hopefully they shop or do some business here and enhance the community.”
Palmer mentioned speaking with Aalbers about expanding the service with earlier flight times and adding a second flight during the day. Palmer says while flights out of Lloydminster are seeing a healthy amount of passengers, it’s not selling out consistently enough to justify the additional services yet.
“The mayor made a compelling argument about receiving additional service and we’ve heard from the business community about the time of day and how they would be better served if we could pull back the time and have a morning flight instead of an afternoon flight,” Palmer says. “If there was a possibility to move that to a morning flight, obviously that would be something we would have to discuss.”
The mayor encourages residents to fly out of the airport using Westjet as the more support the carrier receives the more willing they will be to expand their services.
“It’s a catch 22. They’re running a business and they can offer a certain level of business based on the support. If that support increases they will adjust the business model to reflect that and we look forward to helping that happen.”
The company announced they will be expanding WestJet Link to have flights between Vancouver and Cranbrook on October 28.