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WestJet pulling service out of Sudbury

Airline says lack of demand left aircrafts operating with ‘half of the seats empty’

WestJet is cancelling its service for a second time in Sudbury.

In 2003, WestJet pulled its services from the Greater Sudbury Airport, citing weak demand and high government taxes.

The airline returned to the city in in February 2017.

Now, the airline says it will offer its last flight from the Sudbury Airport on Oct. 27, 2018.

Airport CEO Todd Tripp says he was surprised to hear of WestJet's decision. He says he will meet with WestJet officials this week to get more information.

"I have no reasons at all yet," he said.

"The Greater Sudbury Airport has experienced significant traffic growth in 2017 and it has continued into 2018."

Tripp adds work is being done to mitigate any negative impact on travellers.

'Weak demand'

"Although the situation is not something we projected, we will continue to service our customers and travellers with our current airlines," he said.

"For us, it's business as usual until the end of October and at that point, we will maybe have something else in place or maybe WestJet will still be here."

In a statement to CBC Sudbury, WestJet said the decision was made to end service in Sudbury due to weak demand.

"WestJet bases our service on supply and demand and we review our schedule on a regular basis to ensure we are meeting both guests' and the company's' needs," Lauren Stewart with the company said.

"Unfortunately demand did not pick up sufficiently over the last 16 months. This lack of demand consistently left our aircraft operating with more than half of the seats empty."

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With WJE in YSB there are currently 225 seats departing YSB before 0700. About 10 years ago it was 50 seats on Jazz. 

It's not really a big surprise. It was just whether it was Porter or WJE that would pull out. Encore only started basic service (once a day) there in Feb 2017.

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