New WestJet flights to reduce Thunder Bay airport congestion
Thunder Bay Airport officials say WestJet's decision to use smaller aircraft on its Thunder Bay flights will bring a side benefit to passengers.
This summer, WestJet will replace its 132-seat jets with 78-seat turboprop planes.
The airport's manager of business development said congestion will be reduced at peak periods, leaving more room for passengers in the waiting area past security.
"With the Westjet Encore switch we're going to see more frequencies but with smaller airplanes,” Ed Schmidtke said.
“It actually flattens out demand in our terminal building, and makes it easier to accommodate more people."
Schmidtke said the airport believes the switch will have no impact on its bottom line.
"For every jet that we did see before, yes it means the removal of the jet service, but it replaces it with two flights for every one, both in the direction of Winnipeg and Toronto. It means the addition of 80 seats into Toronto and 40 seats a day into western Canada, which should be good for consumers."
The money the airport earns from landing fees is less for turboprops than jets, however, that will be offset by the fact Westjet is doubling the number of flights.