SASKATOON – Flying away on holiday or travelling to the U.S. on business is going to be a little tougher in Saskatchewan soon.
As of the end of February, United Airlines will no longer have twice daily flights to Denver from Regina and Saskatoon.
The company cited the low Canadian dollar, tough pricing competition, and a robust American economy in its reasons.
Jim Hunter, the president and CEO of the Regina Airport Authority, calls the decision disappointing.
Hunter says Regina and Saskatoon are getting the short end of the stick in the airline’s search for profits because they’re smaller markets.
United’s decision comes after the airline cancelled its direct flights out of Chicago in August.
Saskatoon is now left with only one American transporter hub: a twice-daily service to Minneapolis from Delta Airlines.
“This will be destructive, there’s no two ways about it,” said Kent Smith-Windsor, executive director of the Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re fortunate to have a bit of a relief valve with Delta Airlines,” he said. “It’s been servicing Saskatoon for the longest of the US carriers … and we’re hopeful to see that potentially expand.”
The service cut comes just as a $53 million air terminal building expansion nears completion at Saskatoon’s Diefenbaker International Airport.