Deer Lake — Whether people are coming home to the west coast for the holidays or leaving to be with friends and family elsewhere, the Deer Lake Regional Airport is a busy place these days.
According to Jamie Schwartz, president and chief executive officer of the airport, the facility has experienced a significant increase in passengers during the past two months and is anticipating a busy holiday season.
Schwartz said passenger traffic in October was up 8.8 per cent over the same time period in 2009. In November, traffic was up 11.6 per cent from the previous year.
As for the coming weeks, the numbers will continue to rise.
“Passenger bookings for the Christmas season are very strong and the airlines have added increased capacity to keep pace with the consumer demand,” said Schwartz.
Air Canada and Air Canada Jazz have both changed to larger equipment on most flights during the pre-Christmas peak travel period.
According to Schwartz, many regularly scheduled Air Canada Jazz flights from Halifax on Dash-8 aircrafts with 36 seats have been replaced with larger aircrafts with 50, 93 and 120 seats.
Air Canada is also switching its usual 93-seat E-90 aircraft for an A319, or 120-seater, on its direct service to and from Toronto during the next few weeks.
“Provincial Airlines has also added considerable capacity by increasing its schedule during the high demand Dec. 17-19 period,” said Schwartz.
“An additional seven flights have been added from Deer Lake to destinations including St. John’s, Goose Bay and Wabush.”
The Western Star