WestJet Airlines Ltd. is returning to Windsor, Ont., starting daily flights beginning May 31.
The discount Calgary-based airline will fly once daily to Calgary, but only during the summer months, ending Oct. 30.
Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis applauded WestJet's decision Thursday, calling the move a "momentum builder."
"It's a building block as we pull ourselves out of this economic recession," said Francis.
Airline left Windsor in 2005
WestJet has flown out of Windsor before. It began flying into the airport in 2003, but pulled out after only two years because it said business was too slow during the winter.
'It does stimulate, it does get people travelling again.' —Bill Wolfendel, WestJet
Federica Nazzani, president of Windsor International Airport, said convincing WestJet to return was not easy, and took two years to accomplish.
"We had a checklist. Everything from our facility, to providing them with the market research to show that there is a business case here," said Nazzani.
WestJet's director of corporate sales, Bill Wolfendel, said with tickets starting at $129 one way, or $175 including taxes, he doubts the airline will have trouble filling the 136-seat flight.
"We really are the Wal-Mart of the skies," said Wolfendel. "It does stimulate, it does get people travelling again."
'No nasty trip up to Toronto'
"I think it's just fabulous news for Windsor," said Deborah Dent, manager of Windsor company Border Connect.
Dent said she often flies out of Detroit for business, but added since there is no direct link between Detroit and Western Canada, she said she will now use the Windsor WestJet flight. "No nasty trip up to Toronto," said Dent. "No three hours sitting in Detroit waiting or crossing the border to do it."
WestJet is making a three-year commitment to the schedule. The airline flies its 87 planes to 69 cities in North America and the Caribbean.
The four-hour daily flight will leave Windsor at 4:15 p.m. ET and arrive in Calgary at 6:14 p.m. MT. The flight from Calgary leaves at 10 a.m. MT and arrives in Windsor at 3:23 p.m. ET.
WestJet began booking passengers for the Windsor-Calgary flight on Thursday.