Calgary International Airport is the primary airport serving Calgary, the largest city in the province of Alberta in Canada. Originally named McCall Field, the airport handles numerous international and domestic flights, and offers non-stop scheduled flights to major cities in Canada, the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, and East Asia.
The airport is the headquarters for WestJet and a hub airport for Air Canada and Air Canada Express. The airport handled over 15 million passengers in 2015, and this figure is expected to increase over the years.
Airport Layout & Amenities
The airport has one main terminal building which is divided into three concourses (A, B, and C). Concourse A and B deal with all flights, while Concourse C deals only with domestic flights. As of March 2016, a new international terminal is being developed and is expected to become operational in the second half of 2016.
The airport is modern and comes equipped with many amenities. There are plenty of food and retail options, as well as ATMs and banks. Several major airlines fly to the airport. These include British Airways, Delta Airlines, KLM, Korean Air, and Hainan Airlines. There are currently no direct flights from Hong Kong to Calgary.
However, Cathay Pacific will you to various transit destinations such as Vancouver and San Francisco, after which you can transfer to a regional airline such as WestJet to get to Calgary.
Currency in Canada
The currency used in Canada is the Canadian dollar, affectionately called the “loonie” by locals, which has an exchange rate of HK$1 to C$0.17. Although US currency is sometimes accepted by vendors, it is not recommended as it can be a hassle for them to exchange later on.
Transportation in Calgary
The airport is well connected to the city. There are various options available for travellers to get to Calgary or neighbouring areas. The airport operates an Airport Downtown Shuttle Service that operates routes to specific destinations in Calgary.
There is also an Allied Downtown Shuttle Service where travellers can book mini-buses to transport them to the downtown area. Seats for this shuttle service can be reserved online through their website and fares range from $10 to $20 (HK$57.50 to $115). There are also various car rental companies located on the Departures level across the main terminal building.
Public buses, which are operated by Calgary Transit, will take you from the airport to the downtown area, and vice versa. The three main routes are via Route 300 BRT (an express service), Route 100 (with connects to the McKnight-Westwinds Light Rail Transit Station), and Route 430 North Crosstown.
Board the Calgary Transit buses located at Bus Bay 7 & 8, which are located across the road from the Arrival Hall. Fares are $9.50 (HK$54.60) and only cash is accepted. Travellers are advised to provide the exact fare as change is not given.
Taxis to downtown Calgary are easily available and fares are based on the meter, with the typical fare ranging from $40 to $45 (HK$230 to $259). Within the city, it is fairly convenient to get around on public transportation, which consists of a comprehensive network of trains and buses.
Sightseeing in Calgary
Calgary is located at the confluence of the Bow River and the Elbow River in the south of Alberta province, and is about 80 km east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies. Calgary experiences a dry humid continental climate, and has the warmest winters of all the major prairie cities in Canada.
This is due to the city’s high elevation and proximity to the Rocky Mountains. In summer, temperatures can rise to 29 degrees Celsius, and drop to -3 degrees Celsius in winter. The best time to visit Calgary is during the spring to summer months (end May to late September), as the weather during the winter months can be erratic.
You might also want to plan in advance to attend the popular Calgary stampede festival, hosted annually in late July. For shopping lovers, areas such as The Core Shopping Centre, Eau Claire Market, Barclay Parade, and Stephen Avenue, have a wide range of stores at different price ranges.
Other popular tourist attractions include the Calgary Zoo, the Military Museum, the Telus Spark, the Calgary Tower, Canada Olympic Park and Plaza, the Art Gallery of Calgary (AGC), the Glenbow Museum, the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts, or Prince Island’s Park.
17th Avenue and the Beltline is an upmarket neighbourhood well known for its many bars and nightclubs, restaurants, and shopping outlets. A regional airshow is also held once every two years at the Calgary/Airdrie Airport, with the next show scheduled to take place in 2017.
All information is valid as of February 2016.
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