The Yukon is welcoming a Swiss airline at the same time as Condor Airlines cuts back its service to the territory.
Last week, the German airline announced it will reduce the number of flights to the Yukon by half and shorten the season by five weeks.
Beginning next year, the company will fly to Whitehorse on Wednesdays only, instead of both Tuesdays and Thursdays.
And the flight will no longer head to Anchorage after stopping in Whitehorse.
“There’s no doubt it’s going to have an impact on the Yukon overall,” said Tourism director Pierre Germain.
“But the number of seats being sold to the Yukon is relatively constant.”
Tourism operators will be scrambling to deal with more tourists landing on one day and in a shorter tourist season, he said.
Last week, Condor officials said they were decreasing service to the Yukon because of business reasons.
They wanted to avoid the hassle of going through border security twice for passengers headed to Alaska.
But Yukon officials maintained it was because the airline was exceeding European Union regulations that dictate how long airline personnel can be in the air.
There is no discrepancy, said Germain.
“The crew-duty flight time is being exceeded relatively regularly on the Yukon/Alaska flight,” he said.
“Condor was required to re-evaluate their Yukon/Alaska service … so they decided to go to a direct flight.”
The decision was ultimately good for business too, said Germain.
“A direct service is by far a better service for the client,” he said.
Germain returned Tuesday night from a trip to Germany with Tourism and Culture Minister Elaine Taylor and deputy minister Brian Alexander.
There they met with officials from Edelweiss Air, a Swiss carrier that will begin offering once-a-week flights from Zurich to Whitehorse and Anchorage, beginning in May. (Vivian Belik)