Serge Corbeil, Air Canada’s Director, Government Relations making the airline’s scheduling change announcement, Thursday in Penticton. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Air Canada grants ‘small concession’ for Okanagan flight schedules

Air Canada announced revised flight schedule to previously announced changes

Penticton’s mayor is calling Air Canada’s revised flight schedule announcement Thursday a “small concession”, but a concession nonetheless.

“You know, we didn’t get exactly what we wanted, but at least they (Air Canada) didn’t push us aside, because if it was 20 years ago they wouldn’t have paid any attention to us,” said John Vassilaki, who credited the efforts of all levels of local government representatives for banding together on the matter. “I’m really thankful Air Canada at least listened to what we had to say and gave us that small concession.”

The concession he is referring to is the announcement from Serge Corbeil, Air Canada’s Director, Government Relations that previously announced changes to the Penticton’s airport schedule will be slightly adjusted.

Instead of the earliest flight out of Penticton being slated for 9:45 a.m. and returning from Vancouver at 6.pm., Corbeil said starting June 1 the first flight leaving Penticton Regional Airport would be at 8:15 a.m. and the return flight out of Vancouver International Airport would be at 6:35 p.m.

“We did get a 45-minute reprieve and that’s going to help a little bit, and the other thing they made clear to us is that the majority of connections, the early flight and the late flight, will still be met,” said Vassilaki. “So there’s going to be very little loss on making connections to various parts of the world because of the changes.”

The original schedule changes, which were announced in February, resulted in an outcry from passengers and local government officials. This prompted a city-launched survey filled out by about 2,000 people in the region in relation to their travel needs when flying in and out of Penticton. The original flight times were 6 a.m. out of Penticton, landing here at 11 p.m.

Meanwhile, Corbeil explained that after Air Canada heard of the complaints from the region about the changes, the airline made a commitment revisit the decision.

“Overall, I think it’s a compromise that works, when we looked at the first change from a 6 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. the community told us there was a big gap,” he said. “There was a fairly significant change in the schedule and, in working collectively, we were able to look at that without impacting the rest of our network.

“I think we’re able to move in a direction that the city and the some of the stakeholders we’ve been talking to in the region wanted us to move to.”

READ MORE: Mayor calls on South Okanagan-Similkameen residents to voice concerns on Air Canada changes

As well, in February the airline also said with the introduction of the larger, faster and more modern Q400 aircraft at the airport, it would be dropping one of its four Penticton spring/summer flights.

“I’ve also got to let people know that there is another option, Westjet has two other flights out Penticton – one in the morning and one in the afternoon to Calgary – so now we have five flights a day leaving Penticton,” said Vassilaki. “Air Canada will also have larger planes and will be carrying 80 people instead of 50, so even with one less flight we will have 17 per cent more seats going out on Air Canada everyday.”

READ MORE: South Okanagan politicians petitioning Air Canada for Penticton Vancouver flight

Corbeil added it is too early yet to say what the fall and winter schedules for Air Canada will be.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


 MarkBrett
Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Join St. Saviours Church, men’s club for Harvest Dinner on Nov. 16

Tickets to the turkey and ham dinner with pie for dessert are $20 each

City of Penticton expands scope for partner search to co-host civic events

Interested organizations have until 2 p.m. on Nov. 26 to submit their bid

Star Gazing: Observing dark energy

Calculating the mysteries of the universe

Penticton Vees acquire forward Lakoduk from Victoria Grizzlies

The Penticton Vees have acquired forward Darwin Lakoduk in a trade with the Victoria Grizzlies

VIDEO: Canadian allergists’ group wants Benadryl behind the counter due to side effects

Some doctors say the medication is over-used because of its easy availability

Campaign lights up support for North Okanagan healthcare

The goal is to raise $275,000 towards urgently needed equipment at the hospital

Costco relocation will create congestion on Kelowna roadways: resident

At least one Kelowna resident is unhappy with the proposed relocation of Costco within the city

“I thought, enough is enough”: B.C. teen takes on bullies through social media

‘I thought, enough is enough. I wanted to try something to stop it.’

World’s largest Indigenous tourism conference hits Kelowna

The Syilx, Nlakápamux and Secwépemc Nations are hosting the 2019 IITC

Audit finds Canada’s fisheries in decline and response lacks urgency

Report says 17 per cent of fish stocks are critically depleted, up from 13.4 per cent in 2018

Small group of Cherry fans protest his firing at Rogers HQ

One sign at the Toronto rally: ‘Rogers cancels Don, we cancel Rogers’

Third man dies after Kamloops hit-and-run

Three men have now died as a result of the fatal collision on Nov. 3

Nearly half of B.C. drivers nervous in winter conditions: BCAA

‘Wait and see’ approach common practice for 32% of B.C. motorists

Most Read