Kelowna airport on record setting pace
Sep 15, 2013 / 6:00 am
Kelowna International Airport (YLW) has surpassed the one millionth passenger mark the earliest in its history.
“This year, and especially this summer, has been phenomenal for air travel through YLW,” says Airport Director Sam Samaddar.
“In 2005, we reached our first millionth passenger that year around December 10, last year it was mid-September. To top that number this year in August was a surprise, but it coincides with the great tourist season felt throughout the valley this July and August.”
At the end of August, YLW passenger numbers reached 1,001,294 which is almost three per cent more than the same period in 2012. Since January, every month was a record breaking month.
July and August became the busiest summer in YLW history with more than 14,000 more passengers combined flying through the airport.
Tourism Kelowna CEO, Nancy Cameron, says the summer tourist season is typically strong, however, she says "this summer we saw our tourist numbers increase right through to the end of the Labour Day weekend.”
Samaddar says 2013 has been a great year for growth at the Kelowna airport.
“With new flights and destinations, we are bringing a lot more people to the Okanagan and we are giving those in BC’s Southern Interior more destination options from YLW. As we head into what is expected to be a busy winter travel season, we are looking forward to the outcome of 2013," says Samaddar.
Air North Yukon’s Airline recently announced it will continue to link the Yukon and the Okanagan year-round, so it’s no longer just a beach holiday travellers may be considering this winter.
Imagine taking in a dog sledding adventure or experiencing the mystical Northern Lights as a part of the Yukon experience. Three-day travel packages from YLW to Whitehorse are now on sale until Dec. 16, which includes flight and accommodations for $595 including fees and taxes.
It is also expected that North of 60 will take advantage of the year-round service to enjoy the four seasons of the Okanagan.
“Air service between the Okanagan and Yukon was launched on June 6, 2013 as a four-month trial,” says Samaddar. “Having this service available year-round now will provide great access to both our regions. Those in the Yukon can take advantage of our milder winters, our winter daylight hours, fantastic ski hill options and even the connections from YLW to our many sun destinations.”
For those thinking about squeezing into a swimsuit and a holiday to a warmer climate this winter, non-stop flights and destination options at YLW continue to grow:
- Year-round daily service to Los Angeles on United Airlines remains a popular flight as it celebrates one-year at YLW this December.
- Flights to Phoenix will start again on Oct. 26 with an increase to twice a week service on Saturdays and Mondays with WestJet.
- Try your luck in Las Vegas with non-stop flights every Thursday and Sunday on WestJet beginning Oct. 27.
- Los Cabos, Mexico flights begin Oct. 26 every Saturday on WestJet.
- Cancun, Mexico service begins Oct. 27 with WestJet on Sundays and Wednesdays with an additional Saturday flight by Transat Holidays starting on Dec. 21.
- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico proves to be another popular destination with Friday service on WestJet starting Oct. 25 and Transat Holidays every Friday as of Dec. 20.
- A new Mexico destination is added this year on Thursdays by Sunwing to Ixtapa/Zihuantanejo starting Dec. 19.
Read more Kelowna News
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Kelowna's Cultural District
Kelowna Road Closures
William R. Bennett Bridge
Central Okanagan Regional District
District of Peachland
District of Lake Country
School District 23
Okanagan Regional Library
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