Nfld. & Labrador

CEO of Gander Airport 'deeply disappointed' in Halifax flight cancellation

Air Canada is reducing its twice-daily flight schedule to Halifax to just one day through the winter months.

There will now only be one daily flight to Halifax from Oct. 28 to May 1 not two

Reg Wright is the president and CEO of the Gander International Airport Authority. (Gander International Airport Authority)

The CEO of the Gander International Airport says Air Canada's decision to reduce its flights between Gander and Halifax in the winter is significant and unnecessary.

Reg Wright issued a statement Sunday evening, saying the reduction of two daily flights from Gander to Halifax to one flight from Oct. 28 to May 1 is an "unnecessary downgrade in service."

He said the twice-daily flights always had plenty of passengers all year long.

The decision "reduces connectivity, convenience and choice," said Wright.

He said he understood financial pressures like rising fuel costs, crew availability and changing economic conditions, and that he proposed a number of solutions to the airline that would keep the twice-daily flights in the winter months.

"We will continue to work ... to ensure the central Newfoundland market has the service and schedule it needs." 

Air Canada's winter service between Gander and Halifax will now be a once daily, 78-seat flight. (CBC)

In a statement Monday, Air Canada said the winter daily flight will be a 78-seat Q400 aircraft. It's previously twice daily flights could fit 50 passengers.

"It is important for us to offer service that meets the needs of every community we serve and Air Canada has been serving Gander for over 75 years," the airline said in a statement.

"Customers and officials of the Gander community have expressed their wish for a larger aircraft on the Halifax-Gander route and Air Canada was able to accommodate the request and introduce the Bombardier 78-seat Q400 for this winter."

Air Canada said it will continue to monitor demand, and will be "evaluating a potential continuation of Q400 service into next summer's season."

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