MIAMI — NewLeaf Travel announced today that it will begin seasonal flights out of Calgary International Airport (YYC).

The ultra low-cost carrier will operate flights between December 17, 2016 and January 8, 2017. NewLeaf will offer flights from Calgary to Abbotsford, Hamilton (ON), leaving Abbotsford at 16:30 and arriving to Calgary at 18:47. Return flights leave Calgary at 19:27, with arrival to Abbotsford at 19:50, all local times.

Flights from Hamilton will depart at 11:00, and arrive in Calgary at 13:25. The return flights will leave Calgary at 14:05, and arrive to Hamilton at 19:43, all local times.

The air carrier also announced flights out of Calgary to the Canadian Maritimes cities of Moncton and Halifax. However, after looking at their schedule, the flights to these cities involve a stop. The flight from Moncton has a stop in Hamilton and the flight from Halifax has a stop in Abbotsford. Additionally, these flights are almost charter flights because they are only in operations just a few times during the holiday period.

NewLeaf’s announcement comes as a surprise as the airline at first wanted to stay away from the fierce competition in Calgary. The largest city of Alberta is the hometown of WestJet and a hub for Air Canada. It looks like NewLeaf is deviating from its strategy of flying to secondary airports to save costs and fees. It is now a new player in the big league joining the nation’s two dominant carriers.

“We actually didn’t anticipate to be operating from Calgary within the first five months of operation,” said Jim Young, NewLeaf CEO. “We have had tremendous interest and support already, so we are anticipating great success.

NewLeaf currently flies to 11 Canadian cities. About a month ago, the announced that it will temporary cease flights to four Canadian cities between November 1 and mid-December, just before the busy holiday season. Regina, Saskatoon, Victoria and Kamloops will disappear from the airline’s route network for this short period.

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