The first summer without COVID-19 restrictions is about to begin, meaning travel demand is rising across Canada.
Air Canada has announced the reduction and cancellation of certain direct routes, in order to scale down traffic to major airports to ensure fewer cancelled flights.
“The system as we look at aviation is under a considerable amount of stress,” said YLW director Sam Sammadar.
If you’re looking to fly out of the Kelowna International Airport, you may have to adjust your travel plans.
Direct flights from YLW to Montreal have now been cancelled and further reductions can be expected. Sammadar says flights to Toronto may be impacted in the near future.
“Unfortunately as we’ve seen travel demand continue to rise, especially over the summer months, we’ll see a reduction of seats out of our market.”
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The Canada Day long weekend marks the start of a busy travel season for Kelowna International Airport. That means increased wait times, lines and delays. YLW is recommending all passengers come early.
“People have been away from travel for two years. A lot of them are learning what travel’s all about again and of course, it takes more time than it did prior to the pandemic,” said Sammadar.
The reductions are frustrating as Kelowna International Airport has seen steady growth over the past few months. Sammadar says prior to the cutbacks, the number of seats available was beyond what the airport offered in 2019.
Although Air Canada routes are being affected, passengers can still expect many flights out of YLW to hubs across the country.
“We’ve seen tremendous opportunity with the addition of ultra-low-cost carriers into the market,” adds Sammadar.
Kelowna International Airport offers flights with nine different airlines.