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Air Tindi pushes ‘Edmonton express’ amid travel chaos

Last modified: December 20, 2022 at 5:28pm


Air Tindi says its festive “Edmonton express” service is standing by to help NWT passengers affected by Tuesday’s travel chaos across Canadian airports.

Vancouver Airport, in particular, was hit hard after heavy snow in the region caused dozens of cancellations and delays. Air Canada’s Yellowknife-Vancouver flights on Tuesday were among those cancelled, the airline’s website stated.

“I really think those people are going to be in dire straits,” Air Tindi business manager Bob Schnurr said of passengers hit by those cancellations. “The flights are all going to be full.”

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As of 5pm on Tuesday, Air Tindi said it has spaces remaining on special flights between Yellowknife and Edmonton on Wednesday afternoon.

A flight from Yellowknife to Edmonton departs Air Tindi’s terminal at 3pm on Wednesday for the Edmonton Executive Flight Centre. The return flight leaves Edmonton at 6pm. (The Executive Flight Centre operates from another building at the same airfield as Edmonton International Airport.)

Flights are $450 each way including tax and come with a 50-lb baggage allowance.

“The scheduled flights have had a lot of cutbacks between Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Yellowknife. That’s really put the squeeze on available seats,” Schnurr told Cabin Radio.

“We thought it was an opportunity, especially for last-minute travellers before and after Christmas. It’s getting harder and harder, the last month or two.”

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Air Canada has axed direct flights between Yellowknife and the Alberta cities of Edmonton and Calgary, instead relying on Vancouver as its sole connection to the NWT. WestJet does not currently fly direct between Yellowknife and Edmonton. Canadian North, in response, has just announced it will begin direct Yellowknife-Calgary service daily in February and ramp up the frequency of its Edmonton flights.

Asked if Air Tindi might make an Edmonton service a more permanent feature of its schedule in future, Schnurr said he would “never say no” to that outcome but expressed reservations.

“The big airlines tend to ramp back significantly, suddenly, then all of a sudden they ramp right back up. You’ve got to be careful that you don’t commit to too much money, effort or resources and then they run right over you,” he said.

Of Canadian North’s new Calgary service, he added: “We really need that and I hope they do well, and I hope that Air Canada doesn’t come roaring back into the market and everyone switches over.”

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To book Air Tindi’s Yellowknife-Edmonton flights on either December 21 or January 2, call (867) 669-8205.