Goodbye Air Canada, hello Pacific Coastal Airlines.
The commercial airline first landed in Penticton on Monday, offering service to and from Vancouver four times a week and filling the void left by Air Canada, which has stopped serving the Penticton airport.
“We are very excited to launch a new air service in the southern Okanagan Valley,” Pacific Coastal Airlines President Quentin Smith said in a press release.
“We are delighted to be able to offer residents essential services more choice and competitive rates for travel to Vancouver and connections beyond to other Pacific Coastal Airlines destinations in British Columbia.
Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki was on hand to greet the flight, saying that “air travel to and from Penticton remains a key link with other parts of the province.”
“The arrival of Pacific Coastal Airlines marks a great start to the year, both for our airport and for our community,” he said.
The only other commercial airline in Penticton is WestJet, which serves Calgary. The new Pacific Coast Highway, which offers service to and from Vancouver on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, will be a link for commuters and vacationers in the Lower Mainland.
“Travel Penticton welcomes the arrival of Pacific Coastal Airlines in Penticton,” said Thom Tischik, Executive Director of Travel Penticton.
“We see the Penticton Airport as an important transportation hub for the city and the South Okanagan. Pacific Coastal Airlines is a welcome addition to support the important link to Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. When the time is right, we’re sure many travelers will take advantage of this convenient service for both leisure and business travel. ”
“In the changing climate of health measures and the importance of safe travel for essential workers, we are pleased to welcome Pacific Coastal Airlines to our community,” said Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel.
“The Penticton Indian Band is confident that its services will provide more and more business opportunities for our region. We welcome Pacific Coastal Airlines to Syilx territory and to the community of Sn’pinktn. We hope that everyone who travels here will arrive safe and sound and return home with an appreciation for this land in their hearts.
The importance of flights to and from Vancouver has long been an issue of importance to local MP Richard Cannings, who expressed his disappointment with the Air Canada cut.
Find out more about Pacific Coastal Airlines schedules or book a flight here.