Direct to Europe in 2017?

Could 2017 be the year you can finally take a direct flight between Kelowna International Airport and Europe?

While nothing is imminent, airport manager Sam Samaddar says talks are ongoing.

In fact, Samaddar says those talks have been taking place for about five years.

The prospect of intercontinental flights between Kelowna and destinations such as the United Kingdom and Germany began in 2008.

The hope, once the extension was complete at the end of 2008, was to lure airlines to provide direct flights from Kelowna to Germany and the United Kingdom. When the bottom fell out of the economy, those plans were put on hold.

Samaddar says they are pursuing Europe with a number of different carriers.

"We do have business plans we have presented to various airlines. It will take one of those carriers to see the advantage of one of those business plans," says Samaddar.

"We just don't have the traffic to generate daily, or even five-day-a-week traffic during our peak periods."

He says the business plan is based on one flight a week during the peak summer and winter times.

Samaddar says the airport is talking with both domestic and international foreign airlines.

Some interest was piqued when an Icelandair aircraft was spotted at the airport over the holidays.

However, Samaddar says that plane was here for scheduled maintenance at KF Aerospace.

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