An Alkan Air Cessna approaches the Whitehorse runway in October 2016. The company has announced it will end scheduled flights between Whitehorse and Watson Lake this fall. (Pierre Chauvin/Yukon News file)

Alkan Air to cancel Watson Lake flights

‘I’m not sure what kind of arrangements are going to be made’

Watson Lake residents are soon going to lose another transportation option.

Alkan Air will cease service between Whitehorse and Watson Lake on Sept. 30. The announcement comes soon after Greyhound’s final bus journey through the Yukon

The average cost of a one-way flight from Watson Lake to Whitehorse is $325. On its website, the company said the service is ending due to a decline in passengers.

“It has been Alkan Air’s sincere pleasure to serve the community over the past two years. However, current passenger volumes are not permitting regularly scheduled flight service to be operationally viable,” the company said in a statement on its website.

A company spokesperson was not immediately available.

Cam Lockwood, Watson Lake’s chief administrative officer, said it’s a big setback for the small community.

“There’s a lot of frustration I think, frustration and uncertainty,” he said.

When Alkan launched the flight in 2016, there were three flights per week to Whitehorse. That was eventually dropped to two flights per week on Mondays and Fridays. When flying is no longer an option, the only way residents will be able to travel out of town is by car, said Lockwood. The lack of flights could be a problem for those who need to travel for medical reasons.

“It’s definitely going to impact them hugely,” he said. “Some people don’t have a family that they can reach out to to drive them [to Whitehorse], so I’m not sure what kind of arrangements are going to be made, or can be made.”

Lockwood cited the need for a medical shuttle, but so far no one has stepped forward to offer such a service. The Yukon government has flatly ruled out running its own bus service.

“I guess that’s a question that we have to put back to the government to see if they’re working on other options for medical travel.” he said.

The cancellation may also affect local outfitters, who have been using Alkan to fly hunters in and out of Watson Lake.

Without the flights, Watson Lake residents are running out of travel options.

“When you start comparing it’s about $700 for a round trip, so it’s not a cheap option, but it is an option.”

Contact Kallan Lyons at kallan.lyons@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Yukon government asks court to put Wolverine mine into receivership

The Yukon government filed a petition against Yukon Zinc Corporation July 17.

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

‘Be sure of yourself and love yourself’: Lido Pimienta on navigating the music industry

Pimienta will be taking the stage at this year’s Dawson City Music Festival

Whitehorse council prepares to zone the last phase of Whistle Bend

Whistle Bend Phase 7 lots are expected to be available in 2023

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Good weather and a three-peat highlight another year of Dustball

“It wasn’t bright sunshine, but it wasn’t raining, so it was great that way.”

This week at Whitehorse City Hall

Some of the key moves made at the July 15 council meeting

Revelling in the revving of engines: Klondike Cruisers host autocross event

July 7 at the Takhini arena, automobile enthusiasts from around the Yukon… Continue reading

Yukonomist: Riverdale time capsule

There was a newspaper from 1980 hidden in the wall

Most Read