Castlegar still in the running for WestJet service

West Kootenay Regional Airport misses first wave of named locations for new WestJet Encore service

It won’t be as soon as hoped by many, but Castlegar may still be included for new WestJet turboprop service sometime in 2013.

A number of B.C. communities got the announcement today that WestJet will commence service with it’s new “Encore” brand, those included Fort St. John, Nanaimo, and Victoria/Vancouver.

The airline had pleased many in this part of the country by choosing to launch the service in the west. Communities across the land had indicated a desire to be chosen.

Mayor Lawrence Chernoff said he remains confident in the pitch made back in June 2012 by a committee including himself, touting the eligibility of the West Kootenays for the new service.

Asked if he was disappointed by Monday’s news, the mayor said, “Absolutely not. There’s another round coming later this year. They (WestJet) say they have another five announcements… for five more cities. No, we’re not out of the running by far. It’s really great because they moved west.”

A response to an email sent to WestJet’s media department had not arrived as of late Monday afternoon, but Castlegar’s top elected official was customarily upbeat on the issue.

“I think it’s only a matter of time,” he concluded, “before it gets here.”