Saturday, March 25, 2006

Economic Ties

When I first heard that Air Canada was advertising a one-stop flight from Fort McMurray, Alberta to St. John's, Newfoundland I was a little baffled. Why would there be a lot of call for flights from a rugged northern oil town in a western province to the capital of a province famed for codfish and bad weather. For those not conversant with Canadian geography, Fort McMurray is sort of like a combination of Texas and North Dakota, while Newfoundland is more like Maine combined with Alaska. The distance is like Seattle to Maine. It seemed an odd choice.

And then the article explained it. Newfoundland experienced an economic upsurge about ten or fifteen years ago, with the development of offshore oil. Many Newfoundlanders trained as oil workers, and now they are working all across the country, including the Alberta oilpatch. And apparently they travel home often enough to have created a demand for more direct flights. Makes perfect sense. It's why there is Indonesian fast food in the Netherlands, Indian fast food in England and Senegalese street vendors in Paris: history. I like that sort of stuff.


Anonymous said...

Yeah that's strange. It's like there are daily A340 flights from London to the second biggest city in Nigeria, and 767s to Raleigh-Durham, USA just because they're oil producers!

ACP said...

Ft McMurray has been called the biggest newfie city outside of Newfoundland. If you've ever been there you'll know why! Lots of hard working Newfies that are used to the NE Alberta climate because its similar to the Newfoundland climate.