April 17, 2019 2:15 pm
Updated: April 18, 2019 8:48 am

Air Canada flight cancellations could impact business at Penticton airport

Penticton city council is hoping to change Air Canada’s plans to drop an early morning flight to Vancouver with survey results.

Global News files
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Penticton city council heard the results of a survey offered to residents regarding Air Canada flight schedule changes.

Air Canada announced changes to Penticton routes starting May 1.

READ MORE: Air Canada faces pushback over plans to cut popular Penticton-Vancouver early morning flight

The addition of a Q400 turboprop is expected to increase the reliability of flights in bad weather and increase the number of available seats per flight.

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Air Canada also announced that the 6 a.m. flight to Vancouver and the 10:50 p.m. arrival from Vancouver would be cancelled.

The earliest departure to Vancouver would be at 9 a.m.

READ MORE: Penticton airport to get $5 million facelift

The survey had record participation with 2,614 responses.

It found the 6 a.m. flight is of particular importance to many travellers, especially those who travel for work or medical appointments.

Almost 62 per cent of respondents predicted a decrease in the number of flights they take from Penticton’s airport (YYF) if the flight is cancelled.

South Okanagan-West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings says the results of the survey show Air Canada is chopping the wrong flight from its schedule.

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“When you have over 80 per cent 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,” Cannings said.

“That early morning flight is an important business connection with Vancouver.”

The results of the survey will be delivered to air service providers, along with letters of support.

Government leaders have pledged to lobby for a 6 a.m. flight to Vancouver, and will be meeting with both Air Canada and West Jet.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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