REGINA – It’s usually passengers departing Regina International Airport, but come July 31, daily direct flights to Minneapolis will also be on its way out.
“What we’re seeing is fewer and fewer passengers over a period of time have been using service that we’ve been providing,” Anthony Black, Delta Air Lines corporate communications, said.
“The amount of revenue we’ve generated is much smaller.”
Minneapolis was the last direct link to the United States from the Queen City, not including vacation destination flights or chartered flights.
In a statement, the Regina Airport Authority’s CEO and President, Dick Graham said:
“The low Canadian dollar and economy may have been factors in the recent decline.”
Graham also said “the move is extremely disappointing in light of the recent upgauge this past November.”
The release also made note of a 43 per cent increase in traffic year over year (March 2015 – March 2016)
Delta Air Lines said they can’t confirm those numbers, but maintain their overall numbers have been down.
“I’m not sure what the measurement [Regina Airport Authority] were using was, but what we were seeing overall was a decrease in passenger demand,” Black explained.
“So we were seeing fewer customers.” – Delta Air Lines
Read More: What does fewer U.S. flights mean for YQR?
For frequent fliers traveling to Minneapolis, the canceled service will be a major disruption.
“It’s upsetting, it’s sad news. It’s just so convenient to fly through Minneapolis because it’s on the way [to Chicago],” Cynthia Sanders said.
Sanders and her husband fly from Regina to Chicago via Minneapolis at least once a month because of their long distance relationship.
“We’ll have to look at other airlines, and it’ll just take a lot more time and probably be a lot more expensive,” she said.
They will soon have to connect via airports in Calgary or Toronto.
“Minneapolis through Delta was a good option for people flying to places like maybe Texas, Florida, etc,” Dana Sokoloski, Travel Consultant with The Art of Travel, said.
“It will hurt some people.”
Just last year, United Air Lines ended service to Denver, and in 2014, ended service to Chicago.
Delta Air Lines said the situation is unfortunate but they will continue to monitor the local economy to see if there is a possibility they can resume service to Regina.
The air line said they’ll continue daily service to Minneapolis out of Saskatoon, with no plans to halt service.