Canada: Air Canada cutting flight into Labrador West - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaAir Canada cutting flight into Labrador West

20:05  03 april  2019
20:05  03 april  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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Air Canada is cutting its evening flight to Wabush, citing a modernized fleet and larger planes.

Right now, the company flies into western Labrador from Sept-Iles, Quebec, twice a day.

But Air Canada says it renewed an agreement with Jazz, and will now be using a larger 50-seat Dash 8, instead of the 37-seat model on that run, and has modified the schedule.

As of May 1, it will now operate one flight a day to Sept-Iles and on to Montreal, and one flight from Montreal to Sept-Iles with a connection on to Wabush, landing there in the afternoon.

Frustrating move

The move is frustrating some people in the region, including Dawn Benson Willcott.

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"For me, I've had to travel a couple of times medically, and here in Lab City we don't have a lot of specialists," she said. "We have our local doctors, but for just about everything you have to fly out of here to get it."

Flying in and out of Labrador can be expensive, and Benson Willcott says people will often try and book flights with points to save money.

Air Canada cutting flight into Labrador West © Mike Hillman/CBC News Mike Hillman/CBC News

That can be difficult when trying to line up flights with last-minute appointments, and she worries fewer flying options will create difficulties for anyone living there.

"You hear stories of these other people who are travelling with children and everything, and they're being asked to take an overnight in St. John's and take an overnight somewhere else just to try and get home," she said.

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Benson Willcott says she's not blaming the company, but is upset there was no communication about whether things could change in the future.

The region could see hundreds of new mining jobs as Tacora Resources looks to restart Wabush Mines, and Benson Willcott worries there won't be enough planes to handle the traffic.

"It seems like there's more of a demand, and we've got lesser equipment to fill the demand," she said.

In an email statement, Air Canada said the company bases its schedule in Labrador West on demand, timing flights "to ensure passengers will still be able to connect on to Quebec City in Sept-Iles, or to Toronto from Montreal."

Read more stories from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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