U.S. airlines making flight changes at Edmonton International Airport
Delta is adding a daily flight to Seattle, United Airlines ending daily flights to Chicago and San Francisco
Several airlines are making changes to their routes at the Edmonton International Airport.
Starting July 1, United Airlines is suspending its daily flights to and from Chicago and San Francisco. On the flip side, it's increasing the number of daily flights to its hub in Denver to two per day starting in October.
Delta Air Lines will be flying to Seattle twice a day, with the second daily flight being added as of June 9th, said Heather Hamilton, director of communications at the Edmonton International Airport, on Wednesday.
A likely influence on the flight suspensions is the low Canadian dollar and the ailing Alberta economy, Hamilton said.
"It's different airlines trying to take different strategies to try to respond to this is something of an unusual market situation," she said.
Economy having an impact
"The low value of the dollar really does have a disproportionate impact on American carriers. When they sell a ticket in Canada they're getting less money than if they sell one in the U.S. and that's really hard for them to overcome," said Hamilton
All Canadian airports are being affected, she said, with five of Canada's eight major airports seeing declines in U.S. travel that are fairly significant.
In Edmonton, U.S. travel in and out of the international airport, as of April, is down 23 per cent from the same time last year, Hamilton said. In Calgary, U.S. travel out of the airport is down about eight per cent.
Edmonton has been particularly hard hit because it's a hub for travellers heading to work sites in Fort McMurray and the surrounding areas. The workers numbers have dropped off as oil prices have remained low.
"At our peak, we're carrying over 900,000 such workers in a year. They connect onto commercial flights and so that does impact us as well," Hamilton said.