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May 14, 2008 | General

EDMONTON-Today the Edmonton Capital Region welcomes two new daily non-stop services to Montreal and Los Angeles.

Beginning April 3, 2000 Edmonton Region and Northern Alberta residents will be able to travel on daily, non-stop flights to Los Angeles International Airport and to Montreal-Dorval Airport from Edmonton International Airport.

The new non-stop services were announced today by Air Canada President Robert Milton as part of a nation-wide rescheduling of air services brought about by the ongoing merger of Air Canada and Canadian Airlines International. Canadian Airlines International aircraft will be used to provide the new non-stop services during the transition stage of the airline merger.

Mr. Sid Hanson, Chairman of Edmonton Airports Board of Directors says, “these two new services take Edmonton Airports and our stakeholders a giant step closer to reaching our goal of optimal air service for the Capital Region. In addition to the daily, non-stop services to Seattle, Denver, Chicago and Minneapolis-St. Paul, the Los Angeles route completes our long-range goal of providing non-stop service to five major U.S. hub destinations. With 80 air carriers serving Los Angeles International Airport, today’s announcement also provides even greater connectability to other U.S. and international destinations.”

According to a 1998 survey of Edmonton-area travel agencies, an estimated 68,000 one-way trips were sold between Edmonton and Montreal that year. Prior to today’s announcement, passengers were required to connect through Calgary, Ottawa or Toronto en route to Montreal. Of the 68,000 one-way trips sold between the two cities, 64% consisted of Edmonton-area residents travelling to Montreal with visitors to the Capital Region accounting for the remaining 36 per cent.

Also, an estimated 150 Edmonton-area companies export various products to Quebec, with Montreal being a key focus of that activity. The business-related benefits are especially important to Canadian National (CN) which is headquartered in Montreal and has a western operations center located in Edmonton.

The 1998 survey of travel agencies in the Capital Region also reveals that Los Angeles is the most desired non-stop scheduled service to the United States.

Other travel-related statistics gathered in 1999 indicate that approximately 64,000 one-way trips were sold between Edmonton and Los Angeles via other western Canadian and U.S. airports. Of that total, Canadian citizens comprised approximately 82%, while U.S. citizens visiting Canada accounted for the remaining 18%. About two thirds of those passengers were travelling for leisure and the remaining third travelling for business. These findings clearly demonstrate the demand for daily non-stop service between Edmonton and Los Angeles.

On a provincial level, Statistics Canada-Cities Data reveal that a total of 124,000 Californians travelled to Alberta in 1998, the vast majority of whom were repeat visitors. Their average length of stay in Alberta was almost five nights and translated into $90 million for the provincial economy. This clearly demonstrates the significance of California as a major in-bound tourism market for the Capital Region.

Mr. Scott Clements, President and Chief Executive Officer of Edmonton Airports says, “the new non-stop services to Montreal and Los Angeles are major customer service improvements. These enhancements, combined with the November opening of the terminal expansion at Edmonton International Airport, position us as a major air service provider in North America. This is especially important with the 2001 World Track and Field Championships less than 18 months away.”

The Air Terminal Redevelopment Project is a phased-in, multi-million dollar expansion of existing facilities at Edmonton International Airport. Phase one cost approximately $40 million and was highlighted by the on-time, under-budget completion of a design award winning state-of-the-art, 1,800 stall parkade. Phase two is projected to cost approximately $131 million and focuses on a new southeast terminal building that will almost double the size of the existing terminal facilities. The highlight of phase three is the Central Hall connecting the terminal buildings. This structure will feature a public observation deck and enhanced retail services. Edmonton Airports Board of Directors is scheduled to consider final approval of phase three in late February.

The existing terminal facilities at Edmonton International Airport were constructed in 1963 to facilitate a maximum of 2.5 million passengers a year. In 1999, Edmonton International Airport served approximately 3.7 million passengers, clearly demonstrating the need for immediate expansion.

A news conference to address today’s air service announcements will be held at:

Wednesday, February 9, 2000
Heritage Room
Edmonton City Hall

Representatives from the City of Edmonton, Edmonton Airports and Economic Development Edmonton will be on-hand to comment on the new non-stop air services.