June 2013

Manitoba Chamber of Commerce

Issue link: http://publications.winnipegfreepress.com/i/141831

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BRANDON BOUND: A mockup of a jet in flight. Photo courtesy of WestJet WESTERN "We made sure WestJet understood we weren't just speaking for the 52,000 people of our city," Decter Hirst says. "We also have another 180,000 people who live in western Manitoba, in addition to the folks in Brandon, who would be utilizing us as their regional airport." The high-energy approach did the trick. Starting Sept. 3, a 78-seat aircraft will leave Calgary each day at 9:50 a.m. and land in Brandon at 12:50 p.m. The plane will depart Brandon at 1:20 p.m., landing in Calgary by 2:35 p.m. Economic development director Sandy Trudel says the service will improve quality of life and economic prosperity for the entire region. "We now have that ability to connect globally right from the community, which in my estimation is a game-changer when you're looking at businesses that have strong West ties," she says. "They now can operate out of southwest Manitoba without that added barrier of traveling to Winnipeg." In particular, the local oil industry will be able to hit new heights. "We have 14 oil fields that are within 160 kilometres of us, six of those within an hour," Trudel says. "Through the service, we're allowing that sector direct access to Calgary. Our hope and belief is that then opens up the door for further stimulation within that sector." Decter Hirst says the city will invest $1 million in airport upgrades to prepare for the new service. "Brandon's a boom city. We don't get talked about much, but we're certainly on the right track in terms of prosperity," she says. "People are so excited. It's not just Brandon to Calgary. It's Brandon to the rest of the world." airport.brandon.ca Think Local Think Westoba We pride ourselves on our professional standards and our dedication to member service Visit any of our 21 branches in 17 communities across Manitoba with two Commercial Business Centres; one in Brandon and one in Winnipeg For more information on locations and services explore our website www.westoba.com 1-877-937-8622 MBiz June 2013 39 MBiz June 2013_final.indd Sec1:39 6/21/13 3:26:36 PM

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