Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the good people at Landa Aviation for taking it upon themselves to help reduce Hay River’s cost of living by offering affordable, scheduled flights between Hay River and Yellowknife 6 days a week.
Prior to May, 2018, which is when Landa Aviation began offering scheduled passenger flights, the cost of a return plane ticket between Hay River and Yellowknife, was $1,200. As I’ve stated before in this House, depending on when you book you could fly from Yellowknife to Beijing for less than it cost for the 25 minute flight over the Great Slave Lake.
That’s why that when Landa came on the scene, offering return tickets at half the price, there was a lot of excitement. Instead of $1,200, they charged $600. Landa also offered smaller books of tickets, so that businesses didn’t have to shell out $5,000 a pop to get a deal on flights.
I travel back and forth between my home and the capital quite often, so I’ve had the pleasure of flying with Landa many times over the past nine months, and I can attest that they always offer great service, have cheerful staff, and the most comfortable seats in the business.
Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, Landa recently announced that it would be ending passenger service at the end of next week. It’s a great loss to our community, and it’s going to be another financial hit to those who have to pay out of pocket to fly between Hay River and Yellowknife because I have a feeling that the discounted tickets being offered by the competition aren’t going to stick around after next week.
I don’t think the folks at Landa ever thought that sched flights were going to be a big money maker – I honestly think they did it to help out our community because they’re good corporate citizens, like many of the small businesses in Hay River. I only wish that their contribution to Hay River would have been recognized and supported by this government, and that the GNWT would have opted to fly Landa a little more often. Who knows what could have been if they did.
With that being said, Mr. Speaker, I want to once again thank everyone over at Landa Aviation for the great service they’ve provided, and I’ll be seeing them again tomorrow.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.