If you happen to live in the Fort McMurray, Alberta area you’ll be getting some unique visitors in a few short weeks! YMM planespotters and #avgeeks should be out in full force to welcome Air Greenland and Alaska Airlines charter flights.
The northern Alberta city is hosting the Wood Buffalo 2023 Arctic Winter Games and will welcome competitors from Northern Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Finland, Norway and Sweden. For competitors from Alaska and Greenland they will get to fly in on charter flights rather than take scheduled flights that would take multiple connections at the very least.
Air Greenland will be flying in to YMM with their Airbus A330-200 on January 27th with a scheduled arrival time at 12:10pm MT. The plane will fly athletes back to Greenland on February 5th with an early departure of 7:30am MT.
Fort McMurray is not known as a hot bed for widebody aircraft, they perhaps get an occasional diversion but with Edmonton International not far away most diversions make their way to YEG. So this will be a great occasion for YMM spotters to not only capture a widebody aircraft but a rare one at that as the Air Greenland A330 is primarily used for flights to Copenhagen
Alaska Airlines will be providing two charter flights in each direction between Anchorage and Fort McMurray. They will be operated by Boeing 737-800s. While the 737 is common place for YMM, Alaska Airlines is not, so planespotters will be going to see a livery that is typically not seen at YMM. The flights will be operated on January 28 and February with the following schedules:
AS9681 ANC1230 – 1720YMM 73H 28JAN23
AS9682 ANC1500 – 1950YMM 73H 28JAN23
AS9681 YMM1900 – 1950ANC 73H 04FEB23
AS9682 YMM2000 – 2050ANC 73H 04FEB23
Wrapping it up
Fort McMurray is gearing up to host the Wood Buffalo 2023 Arctic Winter Games and with that the city will welcome some unique airline visitors. Both Air Greenland and Alaska Airlines have set up charter flights to YMM. With competitors also coming from northern Scandinavia I’d be curious to see if there may be additional unique charter flights (perhaps SAS?) to YMM.
Alaska Airlines image courtesy of Alaska Airlines