Calgary airport gets boost as De Beers moves charter flights from Edmonton

De Beers Canada is moving its twice-weekly charter flights from Edmonton to Calgary, the company announced Wednesday.

World's leading diamond company moved its Canadian offices to the city last year

De Beers Canada CEO Kim Truter says moving charter flights to Calgary makes sense now that the company's offices are at the Calgary airport. (CBC)

De Beers Canada is moving its twice-weekly charter flights from Edmonton to Calgary, the company announced Wednesday.

The decision to operate the employee charter flights out of Calgary follows the relocation last year of the international diamond company's Canadian offices to the Calgary airport.

Beginning this summer, the flights will leave from concourse B in the domestic terminal, taking employees to the Gahcho Kué diamond mine in the Northwest Territories.

"This is very much a long-term move to service our operations right across Canada," said De Beers Canada president Kim Truter. 

The service will use the Calgary-based jets of Yellowknife's Summit Air.

Gahcho Kué, Canada's newest diamond mine, officially opened last year in the N.W.T. (submitted by The De Beers Group)

About 150 mine-based employees will fly in and out of Calgary each week, while about 68 Calgary-based support staff will regularly fly up to Gahcho Kué, which is 1,401 km from Calgary, De Beers said.

The employee charter flights currently come and go from a private terminal in Edmonton.

Calgary Airport Authority CEO Bob Sartor says the new international terminal helped De Beers make its decision.

"It really was our infrastructure that made this possible. The growth of our international terminal freed up space, it is less congested now and has allowed us the opportunity to bring in new and additional flights," he said.

He says the new flights will see an extra 16,000 people travel through Calgary in the coming year.