You’ve heard it before — cheap flights coming to Smithers — but this time it really could be taking off.
At the end of the Jan. 28 town council meeting Smithers Regional Airport (YYD) Manager Rob Blackburn reported on a conference call between a number of higher-ups at YYD and Air Canada that same morning.
Blackburn characterized the meeting as very positive and said it was nice to hear they were coming to similar conclusions with regard to a recent fees and charges study that indicated despite low airport fees, ticket prices remain higher in Smithers than competing airports.
“[It] was really good to hear that they had actually gone and crunched their own numbers and came up with nearly exactly the same calculations as we had come up with,” said Blackburn.
During the call the company also gave YYD a little bit of insight into how their pricing works. The airliner uses software that analyzes the country on a more federal level to determine prices.
Blackburn said Air Canada told him based on YYD’s findings they would be taking the results of the fees and charges study and inputting it into their software to look at pricing models for the future.
“They’ve committed to taking the numbers … and pumping them into [their] software and really committing to looking at that fare from Smithers to Vancouver much more closely than they ever have in the past,” he said.
“The second thing I wanted to highlight to council was that they’ve committed to and would like to come to Smithers and have a face-to-face once our election is wrapped up.”
Councillors voiced their support for ongoing discussions with Air Canada.
“I for one am happy to hear that they’d like to meet and I’m seeing nods around the table,” said Coun. Frank Wray.
Deputy Mayor Gladys Atrill echoed his sentiment.
“That’s great to know that there is some better communication happening, so that’s fabulous,” she said.