YQR International working on getting more flights to the United States

Work is being done at YQR International Airport to bring back U.S. hub service.

YQR recently requested a $311,000 tax exemption from Regina City Council, and also asked council to request an additional $199,000 from the provincial government all to provide a financial incentive to U.S. airlines to reduce the financial risk of flying here for the first few years.

President and CEO James Bogusz said he’s working with other partners to try to market the city.

“I’ve been working with partners at Economic Development Regina, Tourism Saskatchewan, the Chamber of Commerce, the Regina Hotel Association, and many others, and together, we have been putting in front of key airlines such as United Airlines and of course Delta/WestJet, to encourage them to give the Queen City another look.”

Bogusz said American air companies need to make sure they will be financially stable when flying to small centres in Canada.

“We also have to recognize that airlines look for the most profitable routes, and profit does not only mean people who actually fly, meaning when a plane is full,” Bogusz said. “It’s about how much yield they can get per customer. Cities like Regina, whether it’s Victoria, Kelowna and others of our size have had a great deal of difficulty retaining service in today’s environment.”

Bogusz said this shouldn’t be considered a hand-out.

“This is all about making sure that we invest that money wisely with very specific metrics tied to that exemption.”

In 2015 and 2016, Regina lost flights to Minneapolis, Chicago and Denver due to disparity in the exchange rate.

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