Alberta's Swanberg Air to fly into Swift Current, Regina and Estevan
By Anne Kyle, Leader-PostSeptember 16, 2009
REGINA — Starting Nov. 2 an Alberta-based airline will begin offering passenger service to southern Saskatchewan residents.
Swanberg Air will initially fly into Swift Current, Regina and Estevan three times a week — Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays — but the company hopes to eventually expand to five days a week depending on the demand for service, Swanberg general manager Rich Wilde said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
The 14-passenger Jetstream 31 turbo-prop aircraft will fly out of Grande Prairie, Alta. making stops in Red Deer and Calgary before completing its Saskatchewan leg of the journey to Swift Current, Regina and than Estevan. The inbound and outbound flights are scheduled so that people can take advantage of overnight stays, three-day business trips or fly into a centre for the weekend, he said.
“That’s big, if we’ve got somebody flying in from Alberta to Estevan. They’ve talked before about having some kind of service out of Estevan because there’s a lot of oil activity (in the southeast) and a lot of oil company planes coming in,’’ said Estevan Mayor Gary St. Onge.
“It is going to be great for economic development for our city.’’
Commencing Oct. 13 the airline will also be offering a flight connecting Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton and Grande Prairie and will be adding Dawson Creek, B.C. to its northeastern British Columbia route.
The decision to fly into Saskatchewan was a combination of “gut feelings and market research,” Wilde said, explaining as the former owner of Proflight in Regina he’s familiar with Saskatchewan and the oilpatch activity.
“We have had a lot of success on our existing routes serving the oil industry, connecting Calgary and Grande Prairie and than up into northeastern BC — Fort St. John and Fort Nelson. So we do get a lot of oil industry traffic on that route and we see southern Saskatchewan as a great extension and expansion to our network to help serve the oil industry,’’ he said.
Regina Airport Authority president and CEO Jim Hunter welcomed the announcement of a new service flying out of Regina International Airport’s Prairie Flying Services hanger.
“This means more services for the area and is reflective of the booming economy here in the southern Saskatchewan catchment area, specifically that oil field development down in the southeast,’’ Hunter.∂∂
Swanberg Air has been operating since 2000 providing scheduled passenger service in Western Alberta and Northeastern B.C. as well as freight, hot-shot and on-demand charter services.
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