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Air Canada dropped London flight over spat with Edmonton airport

10/24/2013 10:23 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
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Air Canada suspended its direct flight to London's Hearthrow Airport after the Edmonton International Airport Authority promoted Icelandair's direct flight to Reykjavik.  

"Your recent announcement that Icelandair, with some financial and other support from YEG [Edmonton's airport], will be commencing service between YEG and Reykjavik Airport (KEF) gave us cause to revisit our YEG international operations," Derek Vanstone, vice-president of corporate strategy, wrote to Reg Milley, EIAA president and CEO.

"This is not a decision that we are taking lightly, but it is one that reflects our profound disappointment in the manner which this has been handled," Vanstone continues.

"We were specifically very disappointed with your comments reported in the Edmonton Journal, which promoted the Icelandair service at the expense of Air Canada's LHR service, alleging that LHR — one of the great gateways to the world, with connections not only to Europe but also to the Middle and Far East, Africa and the Indian subcontinent — was inconvenient and a poor substitute for KEF.

"Frankly, we expect more from our partners."

When Air Canada announced earlier this month it was suspending the weekly flight from January through March, spokeswoman Angela Mah only mentioned the challenge of keeping the route profitable during the winter months.

The announcement angered the city's business community.

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