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  #1  
Old Posted May 30, 2008, 3:29 PM
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Lightbulb Saskatoon and Regina Air Service

Regina Mayor Waits For Answers
By Nigel Maxwell
Updated May 29, 2008 - 5:18pm

The Mayor of Regina is waiting for a phone call from Westjet.

Pat Fiacco says he cannot understand why Westjet is offering direct flights from Saskatoon to Las Vegas; and not Regina. Westjet initially announced that both cities would offer the flights, but Customs Canada said they could not schedule their staff to accommodate the flights.
Fiacco is not happy arrangements could not be made for Regina. The Mayor is offering his services to the airport authority as a lobbying tool.
He says this is not a question of which city is the better choice, but rather why people in southern Saskatchewan are not being provided with a service.

Source


Recently Saskatoon International Airport has added direct flights to Denver and Las Vegas. Does this move signal that Saskatoon's airport will become the main international transportation hub for the province, or will Regina Airport get the same flights somewhere down the road?
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  #2  
Old Posted May 30, 2008, 3:52 PM
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I don't think anyone really knows what's going on yet. Regina is (was?) supposed to get the same direct flights, but there has been a problem with the customs staff
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  #3  
Old Posted May 30, 2008, 4:06 PM
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How many passengers does the Regina airport have go through it in a year?
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  #4  
Old Posted May 30, 2008, 5:04 PM
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Originally Posted by kgc087 View Post
How many passengers does the Regina airport have go through it in a year?
"REGINA -- Regina International Airport set a new record for passenger traffic in 2007 with 962,692 passengers using the airport's facilities last year, smashing the previous record of 871,416 set in 2006."

http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpo...c1c4cc&k=91676

In comparison, Saskatoon's airport put through a hair over a million in 2007.
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  #5  
Old Posted May 30, 2008, 5:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Chaps View Post
"REGINA -- Regina International Airport set a new record for passenger traffic in 2007 with 962,692 passengers using the airport's facilities last year, smashing the previous record of 871,416 set in 2006."

http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpo...c1c4cc&k=91676

In comparison, Saskatoon's airport put through a hair over a million in 2007.
That's great to see both airports breaking records, Saskatoon last year had 1035660 passengers!
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  #6  
Old Posted May 30, 2008, 11:05 PM
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Congrats to Saskatoon for beefing up their air services. Is there an airport expansion in the works?

Winnipeg won't be seeing any enhancements to it's flight services until the new terminal is complete in about 1.5 years. There is talk of adding more direct flights to the US, Europe and even Manila. Like Saskatoon, Winnipeg is one of the fastest growing airports in the country.
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  #7  
Old Posted May 31, 2008, 1:55 AM
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Just rechecked Westjet's route map, and indeed there is direct service from Saskatoon to LV.
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  #8  
Old Posted May 31, 2008, 3:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Greco Roman View Post
Just rechecked Westjet's route map, and indeed there is direct service from Saskatoon to LV.
No schedule yet, though. Kelowna has 2x weekly in the winter to LAS, probably won't start YXE with more than that.


Northwest usually has 2x daily flights from MSP to both YQR and YXE. They adjust the capacity seasonally, mostly by changing aircraft size, but also in the past they have made the schedule such that there would be separate YQR-MSP and YXE-MSP flights for one flight, and the second flight to both cities would be a MSP-YQR-YXE-MSP loop. Not as convenient, mind you, but keeps the frequency up without dumping too much capacity at once. Don't think they've done that since they've had more RJ's to work with.



Don't understate the importance of growing frequencies as opposed to new destinations. Although new routes are more exciting, growth is evidenced by the ability to absorb capacity on existing routes. It will be the growth in traffic with people flying YWG-DEN to connect onwards that will develop into nonstops to California, for instance. And YWG actually has a pretty decent core route network, just need frequency to London Gatwick increased and a couple of routes like Halifax or Victoria added, hopefully when the terminal is done.
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  #9  
Old Posted May 31, 2008, 3:04 AM
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Fiacco just wants to see a elvis presley imitator to dance through the airport like saskatoon got
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  #10  
Old Posted May 31, 2008, 3:17 AM
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Saskatoon is the larger, more important economic hub in Saskatchewan over Regina is it not?

It would make sense to place new routes in this city where it would probably have a better passenger count as well as a wealthier population due to the local economic conditions
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  #11  
Old Posted May 31, 2008, 3:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markus41 View Post
Saskatoon is the larger, more important economic hub in Saskatchewan over Regina is it not?

It would make sense to place new routes in this city where it would probably have a better passenger count as well as a wealthier population due to the local economic conditions
Not quite.

Saskatoon serves Northern Sask and Regina serves Southern Sask. Both airports have similar numbers and actually Regina has a higher average income than does Saskatoon. Secondly, if Regina is poised to become a major transportation node in Canada, makes sense to beef up the airport.

It's dissapointing because these were flights Regina had locked up, including to Salt Lake City too, but Customs nixed that idea.
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  #12  
Old Posted May 31, 2008, 3:40 AM
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Originally Posted by CCF View Post
Not quite.
It's dissapointing because these were flights Regina had locked up, including to Salt Lake City too, but Customs nixed that idea.
Well, clearly this idea of a transport hub will not happen if the airport won't even expand it's services. Judging by both Edmonton and Winnipeg who are projected for becoming major transportation hubs, I would venture that Saskatoon, falling between these two cities, is likely to be the transport hub of Saskatchewan. Plus, this city is willing to accommodate an increase in air travel where Regina is not.
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  #13  
Old Posted May 31, 2008, 4:02 AM
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Good evening all... I have been following this forum for quite some time but have been too busy/lazy to post. This is my first post. I am from Regina but live in Brooks Alberta for work. I am a pilot and know many of the "high-ups" in Sask aviation. I worked at the Regina Flying Club for several years and just last month had a chat with the head of Regina Airport Authority. Like I have read before, the it has been an issue with customs that has stopped Westjet from providing Regina a direct flight to Las Vegas. It seems the flight was outside the hours that the Canada Customs staff was scheduled to work. The idea was to have two direct flights weekly. It was mentioned that the RAA and Westjet was even willing to pay to transport staff to Regina. It seems all would be a go once this customs situation is sorted out.....
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  #14  
Old Posted May 31, 2008, 5:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Markus41 View Post
Well, clearly this idea of a transport hub will not happen if the airport won't even expand it's services. Judging by both Edmonton and Winnipeg who are projected for becoming major transportation hubs, I would venture that Saskatoon, falling between these two cities, is likely to be the transport hub of Saskatchewan. Plus, this city is willing to accommodate an increase in air travel where Regina is not.
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/saskatchewa...portation.html
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  #15  
Old Posted May 31, 2008, 7:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markus41 View Post
Well, clearly this idea of a transport hub will not happen if the airport won't even expand it's services. Judging by both Edmonton and Winnipeg who are projected for becoming major transportation hubs, I would venture that Saskatoon, falling between these two cities, is likely to be the transport hub of Saskatchewan. Plus, this city is willing to accommodate an increase in air travel where Regina is not.
Except the government of Canada wrote a cheque for $30 million for the inland port in Regina.....that has to mean something, I'm sure.

Also, how is it the airport's fault that services weren't expanded when it was clearly stated it was Customs which stood in the way?
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  #16  
Old Posted May 31, 2008, 5:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swilley View Post
Regina Mayor Waits For Answers
By Nigel Maxwell
Updated May 29, 2008 - 5:18pm

The Mayor of Regina is waiting for a phone call from Westjet.

Pat Fiacco says he cannot understand why Westjet is offering direct flights from Saskatoon to Las Vegas; and not Regina. Westjet initially announced that both cities would offer the flights, but Customs Canada said they could not schedule their staff to accommodate the flights.
Fiacco is not happy arrangements could not be made for Regina. The Mayor is offering his services to the airport authority as a lobbying tool.
He says this is not a question of which city is the better choice, but rather why people in southern Saskatchewan are not being provided with a service.

Source


Recently Saskatoon International Airport has added direct flights to Denver and Las Vegas. Does this move signal that Saskatoon's airport will become the main international transportation hub for the province, or will Regina Airport get the same flights somewhere down the road?
Regina will receive more flights in due time.

Which city will become the international hub of the province (whatever that means)?

Here are some realities to reflect upon...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saskatoon Airport Authority - History of Saskatoon Airport Authority
The Airport Authority hit its stride in 2000, approving an expansion and renovation of the Air Terminal building (ATB) to facilitate continued growth of both airline travel and the economy of central and northern Saskatchewan. The project was a significant step toward the vision of making John. G. Diefenbaker International Airport Saskatchewan's premier airport.

[....]

The completion of the first two phases of terminal redevelopment was the most significant news over the first 5 years of operation. The redeveloped and expanded terminal, officially opened in 2002, has the capacity to welcome 1.4 million passengers annually. Recently there has been a renewed focus on promoting and expanding the capacity of the airport as a tool for economic facilitation. In addition, the redeveloped terminal will provide a catalyst to continually improve the "airport experience" for the customers.
Source

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leader Post
Regina International Airport is gearing up to handle 1.5 million passengers by the year 2027, which could necessitate expansion of the existing terminal building and other facilities, according to the airport's 20-year master plan.

Jim Hunter, president and CEO of the Regina Airport Authority, conceded the projected 1.5 million passengers a year -- based on a growth rate of two per cent per year for 20 years -- is a far cry from the 32-per-cent growth in passenger traffic in the last three years.

"We can't reasonably expect that kind of growth over the 20-year period,''
Hunter said. "We're trying to be conservative in our estimates.''

Similarly, aircraft movements are expected to increase to 87,888 movements per year by 2027 from 61,000 in 2007.

The master plan concludes that the existing terminal building, which was recently renovated at a cost of about $20 million, could be expanded to accommodate the additional traffic. Terminal expansion would likely occur in the northwest, allowing room for expansion of cargo facilities.

"Even with the 1.5 million (passenger) estimate, we will be able to expand the current terminal, rather than look for what's called 'greenfield' expansion -- in other words, building a whole new building.''
Source

Smart money is on Saskatoon (If I were a betting man using the above references).

I'll admit, my knowledge of airport service and the airline industry is fairly weak. However, based on earlier expansions of John G. Diefenbaker and comparing with Regina's future expansion I concluded Saskatoon is ahead of Regina both in terms of passenger capacity/demand, both of which lead to increases in frequencies and direct flights (e.g. international destinations).

Or both cities will become international hubs
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  #17  
Old Posted May 31, 2008, 12:40 PM
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Does either airport have US preclearance?
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  #18  
Old Posted May 31, 2008, 3:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big T View Post
Does either airport have US preclearance?
No. The sum total of US service to Saskatchewan right now is Northwest's twice daily flights to Minneapolis to each of YQR and YXE.

Of course there's also seasonal sunspot charters that use Canadian customs facilities, but it'll be a while before the traffic is high enough to justify US preclearance. Shoot, Halifax only just got preclearance in 2006, and they're at around 3.5 million passengers per year.


Quote:
Originally Posted by migs
Its not because Saskatoon 'won' anything, its because the feds wouldn't supply customs workers for the flight times that were given to Regina.
Perhaps. On the flip side, the question also becomes one of working with scare resources - what could the airline and airport do to adjust the schedule to operate within the window that the Customs inspectors are available? This isn't always an option, of course, but it is tough to believe that something couldn't be figured out that would roughly correspond to the times that another international flight arrives so inspectors would be there. If something couldn't be worked out, it could also indicate that WestJet was trying to operate a flight on a completely lousy schedule (ie- 4am arrivals or something silly like that - I've been there, done that, won't repeat it).



FWIW, I think it's a bit silly to say either YQR or YXE will become the main international gateway for Sask. Realistically people from Regina won't travel up the road to fly from YXE, so I fully expect YQR to get its own improved air service. The traffic levels from both airports are almost a dead heat.
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  #19  
Old Posted May 31, 2008, 3:29 PM
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Saskatoon had the same issue, the orignal plan for flights to Vegas had the return flight arriving at a time outside of Canada Customs hours. But Westjet has adjusted their proposed schedule for Saskatoon. They obviously feel that Saskatoon is a more viable market at this time.

Neither city is going to become a "hub" in the sense that Calgary became the hub over Edmonton in Alberta. That would suggest that folks from Regina will have to use the Saskatoon airport to gain access to points south (or vice versa). Each market will continue to operate as an end of the line market for commercial flights, and as demand warrants, flights will be added.

If the Northwest/Delta merger goes through, each city is a good candidate for flights to Salt Lake, as the airline will already have ground operations in place. Can't come soon enough for me, right now flying home is a bi-atch. During the summer, it's almost as fast to fly to Calgary and drive to Stoon than to try connecting.
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  #20  
Old Posted May 31, 2008, 4:13 PM
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we all know that the "international gateway" to Saskatchewan will be Calgary for quite some time
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