Travellers to see more connection options

By Sandi Krasowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The Chronicle-Journal

Thunder Bay, Ont. — Westjet is improving connectivity with the Thunder Bay International Airport and the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport by providing more options for travellers. 

The airline currently flies twice daily between Thunder Bay and Winnipeg from where connector flights include almost 14 daily departures to Western Canada.

Thunder Bay airport manager Ed Schmidtke says travellers will have even more options in September when WestJet offers five flights per week to Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, one of the world’s busiest airports with more than 1,000 daily departures to more than 210 destinations worldwide.  

“This gives people more options to get in and out of Thunder Bay and more options are always good for consumers,” Schmidtke said. “We’re very appreciative of the help that we received from the Winnipeg airport and Westjet and we hope that the local market will support it.”

Westjet boasts a wide range of routes to Western Canada and with its connectivity through Atlanta, flights to Los Angeles are also available three times a week with WestJet’s partner Delta.

 This March, Porter announced the addition of four non-stop routes from Ottawa, which doubled the number of destinations — including Thunder Bay — served directly from the nation’s capital.  

Porter offers direct flights from the Ottawa International Airport between Ottawa and Boston, New York-Newark, Quebec City and Thunder Bay.

Beginning next week, Air Canada will offer four departures a day as part of their significantly improved schedule. 

Schmidtke pointed out that the cruise ship industry has had a direct impact on the airport with passengers arriving to board the ship or others disembarking the ship to fly home or elsewhere from Thunder  Bay during port turnarounds.

“Every time they (turn the ship in Thunder Bay), there’s a significant increase in the traffic,” he said. “Economically speaking, it’s a big boon for the tourist sector and anytime the local economy grows, we appreciate that too — because travel was discretionary. You need to have money before you can travel.”