Watson Lake, Yukon, welcomes 1st scheduled flight in decades

Alkan Air plans to fly to the community from Whitehorse three times weekly.

Alkan Air began its new thrice-weekly service Monday

A small crowd gathered at the Watson Lake air terminal on Monday to greet the Alkan Air flight. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

A small crowd of people gathered Monday at the Watson Lake air terminal to welcome the arrival of something not seen in decades — a scheduled commercial flight from Whitehorse.

Alkan Air's first flight to the community carried a collection of politicians, business people and reporters to mark the occasion. It was the first scheduled flight to the community since the 1990s.

Alkan Air's Dornier 228, before take off in Whitehorse. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

Pilot Leif Austed described the Dornier 228 aircraft used on Monday as "not blazing fast," but said it's speedy enough to make it to Watson Lake in less than an hour — a fraction of the five hours it normally takes to drive from Whitehorse.

Alkan Air's president has said the company has a fleet of aircraft to choose from for each flight, depending on how many seats are sold. Some planes can seat only four passengers, others can carry up to 19.

The company hopes to benefit from tourism and mining interest in the area.

The price of a one-way flight is set at $325.

With files from Philippe Morin


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