December 7, 2022
Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer
Craig Landry, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer
Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management
Serge Corbeil, Director, Government Relations, Western Region
Dear Mr. Rousseau, Mr. Landry, and Mr. Galardo,
It is with disappointment we learned of Air Canada’s decision to suspend direct flights between Regina and Calgary, effectively tripling the travel time between the two centres. As one of Canada’s fastest growing economies and population areas, the need for connectivity and the opportunity it presents for airlines is as necessary as it is mutually beneficial.
As home to some of the most significant players in the Canadian economy – and indeed the world’s – Regina’s influence and importance to other major centres like Calgary is only growing. Consider companies like Viterra, Farm Credit Canada, Brandt, Harvard Developments, AGT Foods, The Mosaic Company, and Raven Industries for starters; all with Canadian or international headquarters in Regina. These companies, and others like them, are committing billions of dollars in new investment into the Regina area in the next few years alone.
Consider too, that direct connection to Calgary is not only a gateway to Alberta but also it is the most effective and efficient way for Regina travelers to access Air Canada’s Star Alliance and code share partners – and for international travelers to access Regina in return. As the world re-works its supply chain networks post-pandemic and amid geopolitical instability, Regina’s place as a node of dependable, sustainable food and fertilizer has never been more important to the global economy.
Regina is also home to both Canadian Western Agribition and Canada’s Farm Show; two of the most important annual events for attracting international investment into Canadian agriculture and requiring connectivity for thousands of international travelers every year. As a gateway for all of southern Saskatchewan, service to Regina also connects the day-to-day business and travel needs of an increasingly important global energy industry.
Regina’s economy is predicted to grow nearly 7% this year alone, and another 3.5% again next year. The population will grow by almost 10% in the next 5 years. Calgary’s numbers are similar and so are Saskatoon’s. That the flag carrier airline of Canada would choose to suspend direct connectivity between these regions at this time is more than disappointing; it is ill-considered.
EDR stands ready to join in these types of conversations and it is with hope and respect that we ask you to reconsider this operational decision and commit to a renewal and eventual expansion of service to Regina. It is good for Air Canada, it is good for Regina, and it is good for the country.
President and CEO, Economic Development Regina