Tristen Chernove, Managing Director of the Canadian Rockies International Airport has another meeting with WestJet this week, and his eyes are on a prize that almost every smaller city in Canada is vying for — the chance to snag WestJet service with its new regional carrier, which is scheduled to role out in the next few months.
Conversations with WestJet are nothing new, Chernove says. He has been in communication with the airline since 2009 on the possibility of bringing the carrier into Cranbrook.
“We have been communicating frequently since 2009, before anyone knew there would be a regional carrier,” Chernove said. “But it’s much more viable now that they are launching a regional.”
There are still a lot of unknowns about the new regional carrier, he says, such as whether it will start up in eastern or western Canada. And it will start slowly with only a few planes introduced at first.
“If it starts in Ontario, I don’t know if Western Canada will see it for a year or more,” Chernove said.
And the competition to be one of the cities selected as a stop will be fierce.
“Everyone is looking to be a part of it,” he said.
There is certainly plenty of interest in this area. A joint Kimberley Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce event was hosted at the airport last week.
Chernove says a lot of business owners were very interested in showing support for his next conversation with West Jet, scheduled for this Thursday.
“Just general letters of support won’t help much. But specific details about how a business might use WestJet might be useful. For instance in my business this many people fly at these times.”
But what he’d really like is for Kimberley Cranbrook business people to register for the West Jet Rewards program, which is available for free sign up at Westjet.com
The Kimberley Chamber is requesting that as many people as possible sign up and let Chernove know that you did by emailing email@example.com