The results of a survey by the City of Penticton clearly show Air Canada is chopping the wrong flight from its schedule, says South Okanagan-West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings.
“When you have more than 80% of the people who fly out of Penticton saying keep the overnight flight with its 6 a.m. departure to Vancouver, you have to wonder what Air Canada was thinking,” said Mr. Cannings.
“That early morning flight is an important business connection with Vancouver.”
In February, the national airline announced it would be deploying more “state-of-the-art Bombardier Q-400 aircraft to boost regional routes across Western Canada — including adding 234 more daily seats (a 17-percent increase) between Penticton and Vancouver on the larger, more comfortable craft.
Later that month, however, Air Canada announced it would be ending its 6 a.m. flight to Vancouver and also cancelling a 10:50 p.m. arrival.
The change in the Air Canada schedule has the potential for reduced usage of the airport with more than 60% of survey respondents saying they would likely decrease their flights out of Penticton due to the changes.
“I’ve met with other air carriers,” said Mr. Cannings, “They are well aware of the opportunity Air Canada is turning its back on. I think Air Canada is being a ‘penny wise but a pound foolish’ by ending these flights.”
The airline is still offering flights out of Penticton Monday to Friday at 9:35 a.m., 12:40 p.m. and 7:35 p.m. The midday flight will not fly Saturday or Sundays.