May 25th, 2024

Officials tout the benefits of air travel to local economy


By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on November 19, 2021.

Herald file photo - Passengers board a WestJet connector flight in 2019 at the Lethbridge Airport. With a major drop-off during the pandemic, city officials are hoping to see an increase in air travel going forward.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

Local officials are communicating the economic benefits of increased access to air travel for the city and area.
“It’s really important for businesses to be able to get flights, so whether it’s business travel for conferences or visitors and investors coming, we want to make sure that there is great air access,” said Trevor Lewington, CEO of Economic Development Lethbridge.
Lewington added that for a regional airport like Lethbridge it is important to have good connectivity.
“That is one of the key things investors look for, can they get in and out of a major international airport easily? So connectivity to Calgary is really important from that perspective,” said Lewington.
Other areas that are affected by air traffic are tourism, events and conferences, as people can gain easier access to the Lethbridge market.
“As we are going to finish up Exhibition Park’s expansion in the next couple of years, if we are going to host major events or major conferences, we want to make sure that there is good enough air access to get people in and out of those events,” said Lewington.
Lewington added that this is particularly important for out of province or international attendees.
WestJet recently announced they will be increasing Lethbridge flights from 10 per week to 11 per week.
“We are excited and optimistic with the announcement… Air travel numbers at the Lethbridge Airport are still no where near pre-pandemic levels which averaged about 40 per week but this announcement does demonstrate a positive trend,” said Lisa Trent, director of corporate and customer services, City of Lethbridge.
Trent added they are confident the safety, efficiency, and overall customer experience improvements currently underway at the Lethbridge Airport will help us not only recover but grow beyond what we saw before COVID-19.
“We look forward to working with our partners at WestJet to continue these efforts and remain focused and committed to our goal of positioning the airport to be a significant economic driver for the city moving forward,” said Trent.

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biff

just amazing. air travel is a significant environmental scourge. but the economy god must be served, no matter what. as for packing people aboard planes and flying to and fro, good thing there is not a pandemic, what with the potential to spread illness from region to region and and country to country. one can suppose the economy is enhanced when we intermingle covid from here with covid from there…just blame everything on those unvaxed rascals rather than the greater reality that international travel has prolonged and exacerbated our issues.