Pacific Coastal Airlines takes flight in Penticton, B.C.

Click to play video 'Disappointment, shock from B.C. Interior politicians as Air Canada cuts service to Penticton' Disappointment, shock from B.C. Interior politicians as Air Canada cuts service to Penticton
Reaction has been swift in the wake of Air Canada's announcement this week that it will be suspending all flights to and from Penticton indefintely, due to the pandemic. – Dec 10, 2020

A B.C.-based regional airline launched its new Penticton-Vancouver non-stop service on Monday after Air Canada abandoned the small South Okanagan airport.

Pacific Coastal Airlines, which says it’s the sixth-largest airline operating at YVR, now offers flights from Vancouver International Airport South Terminal (YVR) to Penticton Regional Airport (YYF) four days a week.

“Despite the challenging year we have had, Pacific Coastal Airlines remains committed to offering safe, reliable and convenient flight service throughout British Columbia,” spokesperson Jodie Sanheim said in an email.

“We have been discussing the opportunity of expanding our network in the Okanagan.”

Read more: ‘Verge of collapse’ — Air Canada reports more service cuts, station closures in Atlantic Canada

The Vancouver to Penticton and Penticton to Vancouver route will operate on Mondays and Wednesdays departing Vancouver at 10:40 a.m., with a 12:00 p.m. return flight.

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On Fridays and Sundays, the plane will depart Vancouver at 2:45 p.m. with a return flight at 4:05 p.m.

The airline says on Twitter that flights will be offered on the 19-passenger pressurized turboprop Beech 1900D aircraft.

Read more: Sydney Airport no longer has any flights after Air Canada pulls service as of Jan. 11

“The 1900D offers comfortable seating, 6-foot cabin height, generous cargo capacity, and is designed to operate in all weather conditions,” the airline wrote.

Click to play video 'Shortened Penticton airport runway prompting flight delays and cancellations' Shortened Penticton airport runway prompting flight delays and cancellations
Shortened Penticton airport runway prompting flight delays and cancellations – Oct 9, 2019

News of a new carrier servicing Penticton comes as a relief to air travellers after Air Canada announced it would suspend its Vancouver-Penticton route indefinitely as of Jan. 11.

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Air Canada said the decision was propelled by low demand, ongoing travel restrictions and quarantine rules.

Read more: Coronavirus — Air Canada to suspend passenger operations in Penticton

“Air Canada is still carrying less than eight percent of its normal passenger volumes,” Air Canada said in a statement to Global News, “due to factors beyond our control and with no horizon for recovery.”

WestJet said it will still offer its daily Penticton-Calgary flight.