The Executive Air Service flew the Lieutenant Governor, the Premier, Cabinet Ministers, MLAs and senior government officials.
“The use of Executive Air has dropped dramatically over the past decade but overhead costs have remained high,” Central Services Minister Christine Tell said. “It just doesn’t make sense in these challenging fiscal times to continue paying those high overhead costs when there are viable commercial options available in Saskatchewan to meet government travel needs.”
Elected officials and the Lieutenant Governor will now travel by vehicle or use commercial and charter flight services when air travel is required to attend meetings and events around the province.
“Our government has already significantly reduced air travel, from 595 Executive Air flights in 2006-07 to 165 in 2016-17,” Tell said. “When it is necessary to fly, we will use the lowest cost commercial or charter option available.”
Eliminating Executive Air is expected to save $700,000 to $1 million annually based on current travel levels.
“We are committed to controlling spending and making the difficult decisions that need to be made,” Tell said. “As government, we have to examine the services we use to ensure they are cost effective and sustainable. After examining the Executive Air service, the decision was made that it is no longer feasible to operate.” Discontinuation of the service takes effect today and efforts to wind down the service and sell the two aircraft will begin immediately. Executive Air employees have been notified of the decision today, and the Ministry of Central Services is working with employees and their union as per the collective bargaining agreement. The Saskatchewan Air Ambulance will continue to operate with no changes to its service.