The Northwest Regional Airport hit a milestone today with its inaugural WestJet flight.
A brand new Bombardier Q400, 78-seat airplane touched down shortly before 1:30 p.m., and the first passengers were greeted with much hoopla as residents and officials gathered to celebrate the long-awaited arrival of a third major airline.
“It was great, it’s nice to have another carrier. We needed it.” said Terrace resident Robyn Henderson, who flew home on the inaugural WestJet flight 3105.
“You can fly from Terrace to Dublin now to have a beer,” said Doug Groves, former vice president of the Northwest Regional Airport, who was part of the ribbon cutting ceremony held at the departure gate. “WestJet just added Dublin last week to their European destinations.”
Terrace mayor David Pernarowski and WestJet executive vice president of marketing and sales Bob Cummings were also on hand for the ribbon snipping, which followed a greeting by Kitselas First Nation official Clarisa Spencer.
“We are excited to bring low fares and our friendly service to this region,” said Cummings.
Flights will depart twice daily to Vancouver, at 5:55 a.m. and 1:55 p.m.
“It was quiet and quick. It was about an hour and twenty minutes,” said Hendry, who was on the flight from Vancouver to Terrace, adding it’s about ten minutes faster than other flights.
Ron Burnett, President of the Terrace-Kitimat Airport Society, was also part of the opening presentation, as was Carman Hendry, manager of the Northwest Regional Airport.
Hawkair and Air Canada Jazz/Express are the other commercial carriers that service the region.