New Penticton flight gets off to a good start

Penticton airport manager said people have been taking the fourth daily flight to Vancouver that was added earlier this month

While Penticton Regional Airport is still waiting on a direct flight to Calgary, early signs are that a new lunchtime run to Vancouver is gaining acceptance.

“It’s only been in play for less than a month now, but there is traffic on them,” said David Allen, Penticton airport manager.

“That’s not bad for it being operating for 20 days. People are finding it and people are taking it.”

The new flight, with a 50-seater Dash 8, arrives at 12:12 p.m. and is back in the air by 12:35 p.m. It joins the three existing flights, at 6 a.m., 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

“It would be nice to get one later in the evening,” said Allen, adding that when the noon flight was added to the Jazz schedule he was told it fit with their Vancouver operation to feed Air Canada.

“Whether you are going east or Asian or north or south, it gets in at that time of day to catch all the afternoon flights out of Vancouver,” said Allen.

But it’s too early yet, he said, to tell if the new flight has resulted in an overall traffic gain at the airport, or passengers are simply switching flight times.

“I would hope we are gaining overall,” he said. “We will know more once we have a few months under our belt. I haven’t lost any traffic, don’t expect to lose any, and expect to pick it up.”