WestJet pushing for Alberta clock to stay the same

first_imgCanada’s second largest airline is wading into the debate over eliminating the twice a year daylight saving time change.WestJet says the move, now being considered by provincial officials, could make the airline less competitive and as a result it would have to move some operations out of the province.Vice President of Marketing and Communications Richard Bartrem says they’re concerned and have relayed those fears to the government.“It would have a negative impact on our network connectivity,” he told 660 NEWS. “What it means, if you look at how we build out our schedule today, very much this is our hometown and our desire is to continue to build this out to be a hub for our operations presently and in the future. Our concern is that if you were to make this change it would have us uncompetitive in terms of the people we bring through from other markets into Calgary and then onto other destinations.”Bartrem says during the winter months, the challenge is it would make Alberta two hours ahead of British Columbia for example.Given that B.C. is a more populated province, there are some people they connect through YYC Calgary International before they move onto other destinations.If you were to take their Nashville flight, Vancouver-based flyers would now have to leave YVR at 5 a.m. some getting up at 3 o’clock just to catch that flight.They’re worried this could lead some to look for other airlines to find more convenient hours and options.“If all of the sudden WestJet were to lose half the people that were on that flight coming in from other markets, then that moves from being a profitable flight to an unprofitable flight and if you look at that tail, that may not be a viable destination for us going forward and then you have to make some decisions on is that aircraft better served somewhere else in the country because we simply can’t fill it in Calgary.”Bartrem says if they can’t fill those planes then that has to be a concern taken into consideration by both WestJet travellers and Calgarians alike.“It (Calgary) will always be our hometown but at the same time we have a brand new airport that has been significantly expanded in the last 14 months and we want that to continue to be an area of growth for us and growth comes from two things, Calgarians that are travelling to other places but it also comes from people who are travelling through.”He says they’d very much like to use the city for future growth but a lot of that will be contingent on convenient flight times and on whether the clock stays the same.last_img

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