© Heather Taweel
Doug Newson, the Charlottetown Airport Authority’s CEO
With P.E.I. 2014 celebrations already underway, at least one airline is planning for more visitors to the province this summer by adding seats to some of its flights.
Doug Newson, the Charlottetown Airport Authority’s CEO, said WestJet has decided to increase the size of the plane it uses on a second daily flight the airline is adding to its summer schedule.
“Hopefully we can fill the seats,” he said.
In recent years WestJet has been adding flights in and out of Charlottetown every summer to take advantage of the busier tourist season.
Last year WestJet used a 737-700 jet for the added daily overnight flights to and from Toronto during the peak season.
Those jets hold 136 seats, but this year the airline will use a bigger 737-800, which has 174 seats.
That will increase the total number of seats on WestJet flights from 272 to 310 each way per day from June 27 to Sept. 2.
Newson said WestJet is coming off one of its best years in Charlottetown and the airport authority has been in discussions with all of the airlines about what could be increased demand because of the P.E.I. 2014 celebrations.
“Everybody’s fairly optimistic about 2014 being a good year so again I think the combination of last year’s results with all the exciting things happening this year is probably why they’ve decided to increase their capacity in Charlottetown,” he said.
With WestJet’s larger plane it could mean more people going through the Charlottetown airport, which will increase the amount the airline pays, Newson said.
“It’s all good news. The more seats we have the more potential for tourism visitation to increase and for Islanders who need to go somewhere.”
Newson said Air Canada plans to announce its summer schedule in the next few weeks.