Officials in Edmonton are claiming a victory in the ongoing battle of the Alberta airports, saying a series of cheeky advertisements aimed at convincing local travelers to stop flying out of Calgary is working.
Edmonton International Airport launched the ad campaign, dubbed "Stop the Calgary Habit," in March.
It was designed to redirect the more than one million Edmontonians who either connect through or drive to Calgary to catch a flight every year.
"I had a Calgary habit. It started out pretty innocent, just the odd connection. Then the driving started," an actor confesses in one of the radio spots.
Since the campaign started 19,000 fewer Edmotonians are making the three hour drive to Calgary, said Traci Bednard, a spokeswoman for the capital's airport.
"When we look at the number of seats that airlines are going to be offering from Edmonton this winter and compare it to last winter, it's going to be up about 21 per cent," she said.
But if Edmonton is making gains, it's not at Calgary's expense, according to Calgary International Airport spokeswoman Jody Moseley.
"We've had some of the busiest months in the last few months. We continue to see increases and to date we are up already 3.3 per cent," she said.
"So I'm not sure where they're getting those statistics from. You'll see that people fly here because of those destinations and because of the airline availability and the times and the schedule. Actually it's quite frequently cheaper to fly from Calgary as well," Moseley said.
The Edmonton airport will launch more ads later this year, officials said.