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Demand warrants traffic at Deer Lake airport: airline

One of the airlines that frequents Deer Lake Regional Airport says the reason why traffic is up there is simple: the demand is there.

As reported Tuesday, the airport in Deer Lake set a record for passenger traffic for the third straight year in 2014 with 336,789 people going through the facility.

Jamie Schwartz, the airport’s chief executive officer, attributed the increasing numbers to the support of the airlines using Deer Lake.

One of those airlines, WestJet, began flying into Deer Lake in 2007. Its service has varied with a mix of seasonal and year-round flights out of Toronto over the past few years.

About two years ago, WestJet moved to a year-round service. This involved offering twice-daily flights in the peak of summer, then moving to twice daily and then daily flights in the shoulder seasons and down to three times a week in winter.

“It appears that the demand supports the number of flights we offer and we always monitor to ensure the route is performing as expected,” Brie Thorstein Ogle, a media relations advisor with WestJet, said in an emailed response when the company was asked about the increased traffic through Deer Lake.

Air Canada said in an emailed response that it does not share numbers “for commercial reasons,” but that demand has increased between Deer Lake and other Newfoundland and Labrador destinations over the past year. Air Canada says it also added capacity between Deer Lake and Halifax.

Twitter: WS_GaryKean

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