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Canadian airline cancels route to Phoenix area before first flight flown

(Instagram Photo/@travelnewleaf)

PHOENIX — A Canadian airline that announced service to the Phoenix area just two months ago said Wednesday it was canceling the route.

Manitoba-based NewLeaf never flew the route. Service was scheduled to start Jan. 15.

In a Facebook post, NewLeaf President and CEO Jim Young said it was forced to drop service to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport after a larger unnamed airline forced it out of the market.

“When an airline in Canada found out that NewLeaf was servicing Phoenix-Mesa they too decided to follow our schedule,” the post read. “Within hours, of NewLeaf’s announcement this airline had also lowered its fares and offered service to an airport it had previously ignored for over a decade.”

Young said the airline would refund any tickets purchased.

“Understandably, you are upset, and so are we as it was the last thing we had hoped to do; but I will be honest and state that because we are so committed to being here for the long run we must focus our efforts on our Canadian destinations,” Young wrote.

However, Young did not close the door for good on offering service to the Phoenix area.

“We are very sorry Alberta, but we cannot offer service to Phoenix-Mesa this year,” he wrote. “This is a classic case of the big guy squishing the little guy so that the big guy can profit more. We sincerely hope and in fact challenge the other airlines to keep the fares low for you so that you can still travel south for the winter.”

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