It’s going to be easier to fly P.E.I. this summer as Air Canada gets set to add flights in and out of Charlottetown.
Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce president Keith O’Neill, left, joins Air Canada vice-president Kevin Howlett, centre, and Charlottetown Airport Authority CEO Doug Newson at the Confederation Centre of the Arts Wednesday where Howlett provided an update of the airline’s plans for the province.
Kevin Howlett, the airline’s senior vice-president of regional markets, said Air Canada added the flights in anticipation of increased demand because of the 2014 celebrations.
With the additional capacity, there will be three flights to Montreal for July and August, and four to Toronto.
“In total our capacity during the summer peak will increase by more than five per cent, which means, for example, more than 1,000 seats in the month of July offering better opportunities for tourists with a schedule that allows greater connectivity and greater access,” he said.
Howlett, who is originally from Souris, was at the Confederation Centre of the Arts Wednesday for a Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon to provide an update on the airline’s plans for P.E.I.
Air Canada, which employs about 30 people in P.E.I., flew more than 215,000 passengers in and out of the province last year.
It’s not the only airline planning for increased traffic this summer as WestJet looks to use bigger planes in order to fly more passengers.
Howlett said any plans regarding Air Canada’s fleet depend on making the right decisions to go into the right market at the right time.
“All our decisions to deploy are not actually made in isolation but are part of a long-term network strategy,” he said.
Another change coming to Charlottetown is the addition of flights to Ottawa, which Howlett said hasn’t always been a successful route for Air Canada.
“For the Island here it is yet another access point because we have a fairly robust schedule,” he said.
Doug Newson, the Charlottetown Airport Authority’s CEO, said the airlines were approached about adding capacity to deal with the extra demand for 2014.
“To see them add extra capacity and an improved flight schedule is obviously good news for Prince Edward Island and the airport,” he said.