First passengers arrive from Toronto

Air Canada introduces YYZ to YKA flight

Passengers were greeted by community leaders and politicians making a tunnel with ski poles and fishing rods. Photo SPIN.

On June 21 passengers on the first Toronto to Kamloops flight landed, welcomed by local politicians, community leaders and a cheering crowd.

The flight, which will fly three days a week, may become permanent after the summer’s test run.

Air Canada said they will watch summer traffic of the flight each way before deciding if they will continue the service this winter.

The first flight was welcomed with an arch of water from the airport’s fire truck. Photo SPIN.

Arlene Schieven, chief executive officer and president of Tourism Sun Peaks (TSP), said it was great to see the first flight arrive in Kamloops.

“Ontario is definitely an important visitor market for us,” she said. “There are also quite a few second home owners.

“In terms of where we put our marketing it focuses on Vancouver, Seattle, Alberta and Ontario.”

Schieven said TSP worked closely with the Kamloops Airport and Tourism Kamloops over a few months to make the flight available. She added it’s promising and they are hopeful it will be extended into winter, when the market in Ontario is much stronger.

In support of the addition TSP added a new marketing campaign in Ontario this summer.

Gord Ross and his children wait for their luggage after taking the first flight from Toronto to Vancouver. Photo SPIN.

One family disembarking the first flight, Gord and Lisa Ross and their three children, recently purchased a second home in Sun Peaks after visiting for just one day.

“It’s a lot more convenient, it’s really nice not to have to change planes in Vancouver. We’ve also flown through Calgary as well but having a direct flight makes it a lot easier to get here,” said Gord.

“We could probably even ski the same day next time,” Lisa added.

“We’re usually here once a season. We rent the house out as well so we’re excited from that standpoint, to get more people out here more easily,” Gord said.

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