A startup airline has proposed launching service from Missoula to Calgary, though airport officials believe the timing of the business project may make it challenging.
Airport director Cris Jensen said Rocky Mountain Airways had approached Missoula International Airport about the proposal. But that was earlier this year and the project appears to remain on hold.
“We really haven’t heard much from them in a while,” said Jensen. “Part of the challenge they’re trying to deal with is the pandemic and the fact the Canadian border is still shut down.”
Rocky Mountain Airways couldn’t be immediately reached for comment on Monday afternoon.
On its website, the carrier promotes its Pilatus PC-12 and offers travelers an opportunity to “skip big airports and land closer to your destination.”
It also promotes a number of local and regional attractions, from Flathead Lake and Glacier and Yellowstone national parks, to Banff National Park in Alberta. It also promotes professional sports and in-flight service.
The carrier’s destinations and flight status are listed as “coming soon.” Jensen initially mentioned the carrier’s proposal back in August. At the time, the airline planned to begin the Missoula to Calgary flight late this year.
“While I don’t believe they will meet their 4th Quarter deadline to initiate service, they continue to show interest, and staff continues to be responsive to their calls and emails,” Jensen said. It’s probably a challenging time right now to start something like that.”
The flight would be considered international, making it Missoula’s first regularly scheduled commercial service. However, Jensen said, the Missoula airport wouldn’t be required to open a custom’s office.
“Calgary has a pre-clearance option,” he said. “You can clear customers before you left Calgary to come to Missoula. We don’t have to have customs in Missoula, is my understanding.”