Spokane Journal of Business

Canadian airline eyes new service to, from Spokane

WestJet hopes to launch daily flights from Calgary

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WestJet Airlines Ltd., a Canada based airline carrier, intends to launch daily flights to Spokane, according to a recent application submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

WestJet would use its regional brand, WestJet Link, according to the application.

The application doesn’t show an intended launch date for the service. The airline couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.

If the application is approved, Spokane will receive a daily flight to Calgary, the airlines’ home base, as well as Vancouver, British Columbia, according to the trade publication AirlineGeeks.

If its plans came to fruition soon, WestJet would mark the second airline to expand services to Spokane International Airport in recent weeks, along with aha! Travel Management Company LLC, which plans to launch flights later this year to Reno, Nevada.

The intended aircraft for these WestJet flights are Saab 340s, Swedish twin-engine turboprop planes designed to seat between 30 and 34 passengers.

Although the Spokane airport lost services through Frontier Airlines during the pandemic, it also gained three new routes to Las Vegas and Phoenix through Allegiant Air, a new American Airlines flight to Chicago, and new routes to Orange County via Allegiant and Southwest Airlines.

Frontier Airlines plans to resume flying in August 2022.

At the onset of the pandemic, Spokane International Airport experienced plummeting passenger traffic.

According to a Monthly Traffic Report by Spokane International Airport, the airport total passenger traffic dropped to 23,900 in April 2020, compared with the year-earlier month, when the airport reported 308,000 passengers passed through. April 2021 totals show passenger numbers trending toward pre-pandemic levels, with returning numbers of 247,000 passengers.

In April of 2020, the airport received a $29.6 million economic relief grant from the Federal Aviation Administration as part of the CARES Act, which provided $10 billion in financial aid to airports across the country to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19.

In June of 2021, the airport received an additional $17 million from the American Rescue Plan to assist the airport recovering from losses incurred over the previous year.

Karina Elias
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Reporter Karina Elias covers the banking and finance industry. A California native, she attended the University of California at Santa Barbara. Karina loves salsa dancing, traveling, baking, cuddling with her dog, and writing creative fiction and non-fiction.  

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