North

N.W.T.'s Northwestern Air Lease to reinstate stop in High Level

The Northwestern Air Lease airline out of Fort Smith, N.W.T., has reinstated its stop in High Level, Ala.

The airline was forced to end the service after demand declined due to COVID-19

A file photo of a plane sitting in the snow at the Fort Smith Airport. The Northwestern Air Lease airline out of Fort Smith, N.W.T., has reinstated its stop in High Level, Alta. (Anna Desmarais/CBC)

The Northwestern Air Lease airline out of Fort Smith, N.W.T., has reinstated its stop in High Level, Alta.

The company previously served High Level as part of its scheduled service between Hay River and Edmonton, but was forced to end the service after demand declined when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March.

That left High Level with only one carrier.

James Heidema, chief operating officer with Northwestern, says after they cancelled their flights, the airline's phones started ringing.

"We were approached by various business partners there, the mayor and the chamber of commerce, the airport manager, et cetera, saying that, you know, we really have a need," he said.

"Because they do have some locum doctors and nurses and others that fly in on a regular basis. And it's much easier for them to fly than it is to drive the five hours."

He said the company is going to try out adding two flights a week to the schedule, and will reconsider the schedule in weeks to come if there isn't much demand.

"We'll just wait and see and see whether there's a thirst for air travel with us, and we're prepared to try it for a bit and see what happens," he said.

The scheduled service to High Level will resume next week on March 4, you can find the schedule details on the company's website.

with files from Walter Strong

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