Saskatchewan

Delta Air Lines cancels Regina to Minneapolis flight

There will be no direct daily flights from Regina International Airport to the United States starting on Aug. 1

Regina International Airport now offers no direct daily flights to U.S.

Air travellers in Regina will now need to go through other Canadian cities to fly to the United States on a daily basis. (Neil Cochrane/CBC)

There will be no direct daily flights from Regina International Airport to the United States starting on Aug. 1.

Delta Air Lines is suspending its Regina to Minneapolis daily routes.

"While the low Canadian dollar and economic downturn may have been contributing factors to the recent decline in current and forecasted passenger loads, it is extremely disappointing in light of the recent upgauge this past November that offered our guests the opportunity for first class seating and larger capacity," said Regina Airport Authority CEO Dick Graham.

Graham said it was a service that business customers had been requesting for many years. 

Service 'suspended' despite increased traffic 

Delta had seen an increase in usage up until this past April and a "softening in advancing bookings for the summer," the airport authority said in a statement.

"Delta Air Lines experienced an increase of 43 per cent in traffic year over year (March 2015 - March 2016) and a saw a strong 26 per cent increase in passengers from November 2015 when a larger plane (50 per cent capacity increase) entered the YQR market."

Delta blames demand and lack of revenue

A Delta Connection CRJ900 regional jet lands at Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in October 2009. (Bill Fawcett/Wikimedia Commons)

Delta confirmed what it is calling an "indefinite suspension" of service.

"The reason for suspension of service is due to lower passenger demand and softening revenue," Delta Air Lines spokesperson Anthony Black said.

He said Delta will work with individual passengers affected by the suspension, which could be a refund or involve another airline getting passengers to their destinations.

Direct flights between Saskatoon and Minneapolis are still available past Aug. 1.

Passengers disappointed

Jeff Renwick and his wife Lisa were flying back from Orlando on Tuesday. Jeff heard the news and tweeted Delta to express his feelings.
    
"Exceedingly disappointed. We fly Delta a lot," Renwick said. "It's going to be much more difficult to travel outside of Canada with the Delta connection gone."

"They've been flying to Regina for more than 20 years if you count the Northwest prior to the Delta merger. And those flights, I fly them often, they're often not only full, they're oversold."

His wife Lisa said she hopes another carrier will pick up the slack.

"I work for Mosaic. Our head office is in Minneapolis. My only hope is maybe WestJet will start flying to Minneapolis," Lisa Renwick said.

Daniel Drew travels to Regina every few months for business. He lives in Milwaukee, Wis. and uses the Delta flight between the Queen City and the Twin Cities.

"For the most part, the flight is full. I haven't seen it not full ever. It is a flight I use constantly. It's going to be sad to see it go. I'll either have to fly to Saskatoon or possibly into Winnipeg instead," Drew said.

Cancelled flights to Denver and Chicago

United Airlines cancelled its direct flights from Regina and Saskatoon to Chicago in 2014. The airline cancelled direct flights between Saskatchewan's two largest cities and Denver in 2015. 

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