Airport officials hope to lure more airlines

The Alberni Clayoquot Regional District is continuing its efforts to lure WestJet to the Long Beach Airport.

The regional district’s Long Beach Airport Advisory recently met with WestJet network planning analyst Chris Jackson to discuss the airline’s potential future at the airport, according to Ucluelet Mayor Bill Irving.

“(Jackson) gave us ideas on what kind of resources have to be at an airport for WestJet to consider it so the advisory took that into consideration,” Irving said, suggesting there could be possible linkages between WestJet commuter flights from either Comox or Nanaimo and Long Beach’s existing airlines.

“Good opportunity; lots of things happening there that I think will be very much appreciated by the folks on the West Coast,” he said.

WestJet’s public relations manager Robert Palmer confirmed WestJet has met with local officials but said the company has no current plans to fly into Long Beach.

“There are many communities in Canada interested in WestJet Encore service and we continue to receive indications of interest across the country,” he said.

“At this point we have no plans to serve Tofino-Ucluelet. However, as we take delivery of additional aircraft in the years to come, we will be in a better position to consider new destinations.”