This is the newest direct flight out of YLW

New direct service for ‘great pairing’ of two cities

It will come as sweet news to local travellers wanting another swift, non-stop connection to Vancouver Island from Kelowna International Airport.

Pacific Coastal Airlines has added Nanaimo to their daily service that already includes Victoria.

The trip takes just 65 minutes and will be an appealing option for those who’d rather avoid the minimum six-and-a-half hour car journey and ferry ride, excluding any wait times.

Several staff and dignitaries were on hand Tuesday to welcome the first passengers from the island in light, but welcome rain. A special gift package included, of course, the famous biscuit, custard, and chocolate Nanaimo bar.

“Some call this the perfect pairing: two wine countries, golf, and a similar lifestyle,” Pacific Coastal’s Berkan Kucukkatipoglu told Kelowna10 when highlighting the tourist draw of both cities. “These two communities are some of the most sought-after in British Columbia and we’re in an exciting position to grow our network after the COVID pandemic.”

The plane the airline is using for the trip is the 19-seat Beechcraft 1900. Kucukkatipoglu said early bookings look promising and there is potential to add frequency or a larger aircraft if demand increases.

For YLW manager Sam Samaddar, the new route speaks to a major convenience and timesaver for passengers.

“When you look at the amount of time it takes to drive and get on a ferry, you’re there in an hour and five minutes. You save yourself a day of travel each way,” he said. “We’ve worked on a business plan with our partners at Nanaimo Airport and we believe this is a very viable route.”

Published 2023-09-13 by Glenn Hicks

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