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WestJet announces new Kelowna, Minneapolis flights from Sask.

Regina and Saskatoon airports add twice weekly direct flights to Kelowna, Saskatoon adds summer route to Minneapolis.

REGINA - WestJet has announced some new service to Saskatchewan and people interested in direct flights to see Ogopogo, or a Twins baseball game, will be excited.

The airline announced Monday the resumptions of twice-weekly direct flights between Kelowna and Regina, and between Kelowna and Saskatoon. The Regina flights start May 21 and Saskatoon June 2.

The Regina flights will be on Sundays and Thursdays and run to Sept. 3. The Saskatoon flights will be on Mondays and Fridays and run to Sept. 5.

WestJet has also announced nonstop direct flights between Saskatoon and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. According to their booking website, those run June 19 to Oct. 29 and will be three times a week, flying on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

There had been regular direct service between Saskatoon and Minneapolis for years from Northwest Airlines and, following their merger, Delta Air Lines. Delta discontinued the route in 2020 during the height of pandemic restrictions. 

This is the first time WestJet will be flying regularly to Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. WestJet is also adding direct flights from Edmonton to Minneapolis-St. Paul. The new routes will tap into Delta’s hub at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport for connecting flights to other destinations, as Delta is a partner airline for WestJet.

"We're thrilled to welcome WestJet to Minnesota," said Metropolitan Airports Commission CEO Brian Ryks in a statement Monday. "WestJet's arrival also opens up new connections for travelers across Western Canada and the United States leveraging their codeshare with Delta Air Lines, MSP's largest carrier."

The direct routes are among 20 new routes announced by WestJet on Monday, as they announced an almost 50 per cent expansion of service out of Edmonton as well as the addition of Detroit and Washington D.C. on their route network.

"Delta is excited about WestJet's expanded US-Canada network in summer 2023," said Perry Cantarutti, senior vice president Alliances and International for Delta, in a statement. "We already have a strong codeshare network with WestJet, and extensive reciprocal benefits for our frequent flyers. With both increased flights to Delta's hubs in Atlanta and Seattle, as well as new WestJet flights to our hubs in Minneapolis/St. Paul and Detroit, we look forward to growing our partnership, offering new travel and connection options to more customers, and increasing competition."

There was also word of one more direct service added for Regina. WestJet has added a twice-weekly summer direct service between Regina and Vancouver starting June 30, which is also a resumption of service.

The airport notes that WestJet’s summer schedule in Regina will offer the most flights with the most seats available since 2019, with WestJet offering direct service to Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Toronto. Air Canada also has direct Toronto and Vancouver flights as well as Montreal.

“We’re looking forward to a very busy summer here at YQR with the best flight options we’ve had in many years.” said Justin Reves, Manager of Customer Experience and Marketing at Regina International Airport, in a news release. "Having more flights to more destinations means more competitive pricing and better options for connecting.”