WestJet is cutting its direct Terrace to Calgary service as of March 5. (Nicholas Pescod/Black Press Media)

WestJet is cutting its direct Terrace to Calgary service as of March 5. (Nicholas Pescod/Black Press Media)

WestJet bails on Terrace-Calgary connection

Cites low passenger numbers

WestJet is cancelling its twice-weekly Terrace-Calgary direct flights, just six months after introducing the service.

“While we understand this may come as disappointing news for the community, the route was not performing to expectations and as a result the decision was made to discontinue the service,” said WestJet official Morgan Bell Feb. 20.

The service cut the travel time between the Northwest Regional Airport and Calgary to just over two hours, avoiding having to fly to Vancouver first for a connecting flight.

READ MORE: WestJet announces direct flights between Terrace, Calgary

When announced late last August, the direct service was hailed by local politicians and others as a step forward in recognizing the economic potential of the area.

And when LNG Canada announced it was going ahead with its $40 billion liquefied natural gas plant at Kitimat, the direct flights were regarded as another step forward in connecting Calgary’s energy development sector with the northwest.

This isn’t the first time WestJet has tried and then cancelled direct flights to and from Calgary.

It and Air Canada both offered the direct service in 2015 at the height of liquefied natural gas development speculation in the northwest but both withdrew when passenger numbers failed to live up to expectations.

READ MORE: WestJet to cut Terrace to Calgary route

WestJet’s Bell did add the airline is adding two flights to and from Vancouver this spring to bolster connections to and from that major hub.

“During peak season, WestJet will now operate 15 flights per week between Terrace and Vancouver,” she said.

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