Starting in February, Calgarians looking to travel to the popular tourist destination of Phoenix, Arizona, will have an ultra-low-cost option from Lynx Air.
The carrier made the announcement of the additional route, their first from Calgary to the U.S., 10 months to the day from their inaugural flight from the Calgary International Airport to Vancouver.
In the coming weeks, Lynx will be adding additional routes to Los Angeles and Las Vegas from YYC.
“By the end of February we’ll be operating 5,000 seats in and out of the United States,” said Lynx Air CEO Merren McArthur.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with fee Phoenix Sky Harbor International Terminal, the most centrally located terminal in Phoenix, providing Canadians with easy access to all the attractions and activities that Phoenix has to offer.”
Among those attractions coming up said McArthur is the PGA’s upcoming Waste Management Phoenix Open – one of the tour’s largest non-major stops—and the Super Bowl. Both are significant drivers of tourism traffic, that have added to the already existing demand for flights to the city.
“Now that we have put our U.S. destinations on sale, our sales have almost tripled. So it’s huge,” said McArthur.
Chris Miles, Vice President for Operations and Infrastructure for the Calgary Airport Authority, said that the additional routes announced on Tuesday bring the total from the Calgary International Airport for the carrier up to nine.
“Those nine routes generate about 45,000 seats a month, which gives Albertans an increasing amount of choice when they choose to fly out of Calgary,” he said.
“The events of the last eight months and the performance of Lynx is something that should be celebrated and acknowledged as industry-leading.”
Tourism Calgary praised the additional routes being added as a way to get U.S. customers to visit the city.
“Additional air options that enable U.S. travellers to reach us easily and affordable help to support our visitor economy and highlight Calgary as a destination of choice,” said Cindy Ady, CEO of Tourism Calgary.
Fares to Phoenix will start at $109, with taxes and fees inclusive, one-way. Flights to Las Vegas and Los Angeles are currently pre-selling, starting at $130.
Flights to Phoenix will be offered on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, as will flights to Los Angeles. Flights to Las Vegas will be offered on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sundays.
Getting customers to their destinations
McArthur said a large part of the growth the airline has seen over the past 10 months has been in large part due to their industry-leading performance on getting passengers to destinations.
The airline has been able to keep cancellation rates for passengers under 1 per cent.
“That’s important, because we know that ultra-low-cost carriers have historically had a reputation for poor customer service, crammed old aircraft, and last-minute cancellations,” she said.
“Number one, our focus is always safety, obviously, but this is our second focus to get our passengers to their destination. That’s really what they want most from an airline, and that’s what we’ve been able to do.”
By the end of summer, McArthur said, they would be serving 12 destinations out of Calgary with 115 flights per week, representing 21,000 seats and a growth of 75 per cent over 2022.
Miles said that this kind of growth is helping to get the airport back up to pre-pandemic passenger levels from 2019.
“Effectively we will be fully recovered by the end of 2023. And certainly, in the last few months of 2022, we were very close to what 2019 volumes were,” he said.
“Any new route announcement, any new additional destination that we can offer just brings more passengers through our airport, and we’re thrilled to have them.”