In less than three days, over 1,800 people filled out a survey on why they fly Penticton to Vancouver and how frequently.
“Thank you to the 1,872 people who filled out the survey about flights between Vancouver and Penticton. Wow,” the Penticton Airport posted on their Facebook page.
The survey is now closed.
The City hopes to take the feedback to the airlines to see who may be interested in filling the gaps. Pacific Coastal Airlines continues to offer flights between Penticton and Vancouver.
In the wake of Air Canada announcing their plan to cut service to Penticton, the city’s leading business groups asked travellers in the area to provide feedback on why they need a route to and from Vancouver.
The Penticton Airport released a nine-question survey to find out why people use the local regional airport, instead of Kelowna’s, for instance, when travelling to Western Canada’s largest city.
Air Canada cited a pilot shortage as to why it is pulling out of Penticton, effective Jan. 15, 2024.
South Okanagan-West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings was quick to respond, expressing his disappointment toward the decision.
“I learned from Air Canada executives yesterday that they will be pulling out of Penticton as of Jan. 15,” he said on Sept. 13. “This is a bad decision on so many levels.”
Penticton Mayor Julius Bloomfield also acknowledged Air Canada’s announcement and said the city has reached out to other airlines about filling the void.
The airline says it regrets having to make “this difficult decision,” but staffing shortages have forced it to review its network schedule “to ensure resources are deployed most efficiently and productively.”
Upon getting word of the decision, Penticton’s Chamber sent a letter to both Air Canada and the federal Minister of Transport. They called the announcement “deeply concerning” and urged the airline to reconsider.
Flights from Penticton to Vancouver will still be offered six days a week after Jan. 15, through Pacific Coastal Airlines.
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