* WestJet: Modelled after the hugely successful Southwest Airlines (www.southwestair.com) in the U.S., Canada’s founding no-frills carrier has set the standard for budget travel on this side of the border. The Calgary-based company is the envy of its rivals for its success on the balance sheet – and in the skies.
* Air Canada: Canada’s largest commercial carrier is in good company when it comes to economic woes – like many major international airlines, it has suffered from the slowing economy and Sept. 11-related travel downturn. (It recently turned a profit for the first quarter in recent memory.) In serious need of diversification, the airline has introduced a new family of aviation services including budget carrier Air Tango, regional subsidiary Air Canada Jazz and charter service Air Canada Jetz. Set to launch later this month is WestJet’s new western rival – Calgary-based no-frills carrier Zip Air (see our 20 Questions interview with Steve Smith on Page 5).
* QuikAir: Launched last year, this fast-growing Edmonton-based airline offers numerous direct flights each day between Calgary International Airport and Edmonton City Centre airport, as well as new regular service to Rainbow Lake and High Level.
* Peace Air: This Peace River, Alta.-based company has operated charter flights through British Columbia and Alberta – including Calgary and Edmonton – for 40 years.
* Air North:With 25 years under its belt, Whitehorse-based Air North launched non-stop service between Edmonton, Calgary and the Yukon this spring.
* Canadian North: Based www.flyairnorth.comin Yellowknife, Canadian North offers service from Edmonton, Calgary and Ottawa to communities in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
* Swanberg Air: This Grande Prairie-based
carrier offers scheduled and charter direct flights between its northern Alberta headquarters and the Shell Aerocentre in Calgary.
* Canada West Airlines: This Edmonton-based airline will challenge the big-name eastern charter carriers when it begins running flights next spring from the Alberta capital and Calgary/Vancouver to European and sun destinations.
* Air Transat: A Montreal-based carrier which specializes in charter flights to vacation destinations, but also offers year-round service to cities including Calgary and Edmonton.
* Skyservice: Toronto-based carrier operates charter flights across Canada and to vacation destinations. The majority of its seats are bought primarily by major tour companies such as Signature Vacations, Conquest Tours and Sunquest.
* Central Mountain Air: Based in Smithers, B.C. (with offices in Vancouver and Calgary), this private airline offers contract services to Air Canada but also recently
reintroduced its daily service between Kelowna, Kamloops, Prince George, Terrace and Smithers.
* Calgary International Airport
(Listings do not include the many international airlines operating flights to and from Alberta.)