Watson Lake to get scheduled flights for first time since 1990s

For the first time since the early 1990s, there will be regular passenger flights between Watson Lake and Whitehorse.

For the first time since the early 1990s, there will be regular passenger flights between Watson Lake and Whitehorse.

Alkan Air announced this week that beginning Sept. 12, the company will offer the one-hour-and-15-minute flight on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Alkan’s president Wendy Tayler said she believes the time is right to start up the flight again.

“Exploration in mining looking like it’s taking a turn,” she said. “We’ve got an outfitting industry there that’s really anxious to have air access for the people that travel to and from the outfitting camps, we have a tourism industry there.”

Watson Lake is similar to Dawson City — which already has regular scheduled flights — in population and distance from the capital, Tayler said.

“You’ve got a very long travel time (by road) whether that be for residents for medical travel or government individuals that have to go down for work.”

As it stands, businesses that do work in Watson Lake are forced to rely on employees in rental cars to get back and forth to the community, she said.

The new Alkan flights were announced along with two other deals related to travel in Watson Lake.

Alkan is partnering with Air North so that passengers can book their flights straight through between Watson Lake and Vancouver.

“They can book the flight online with Air North, the entire flight and also travel on one ticket,” Tayler said

Budget, the rental car company, has agreed to start offering cars out of the Watson Lake Airport. Before this deal there were no rental cars available in the community, Tayler said.

Budget has agreed to offer one-way rentals which means people could choose to travel one way by air and the other by car.

A one-way ticket for the flight between Watson Lake and Whitehorse comes with a price tag of $325. Flight passes will be available, the company said.

On Mondays and Wednesdays, flights depart Whitehorse at 2:30 p.m. and depart Watson Lake at 4:15 p.m.

On Fridays, flights depart Whitehorse at 12:30 p.m. and depart Watson Lake at 1:45 p.m.

Tayler said her company will use different aircraft to make the trip depending on how many people book a ticket.

The company has a fleet of aircraft ranging from a four-seater to a 19-passenger plane. They are all capable of making the flight, she said.

For more information or to book a ticket visit alkanair.com.

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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