Sun Peaks sees benefit in daily L.A.-Kelowna flights
United Airlines has announced it will introduce daily non-stop service between Los Angeles International Airport and Kelowna International Airport.
The new flight will begin on Dec. 19 and coincide with the Christmas ski season.
“This flight will create easier connections for California-based groups and skiers and a new connection alternative for guests coming from Sydney, Australia,” said Colin Brost, director of sales for Tourism Sun Peaks, noting Australia is the resort’s largest overseas market.
“Sun Peaks is likely the best connected resort in B.C.,” Brost said of the province’s second-largest ski area.
The new daily flight on the CRJ700 Series, 66-passenger plane will leave Los Angeles at 6:40 p.m. and arrive in Kelowna at 9:44 p.m.
The return flight departs Kelowna at 8 a.m. and arrives in Los Angeles at 10:51 a.m.
Kelowna International Airport is the largest airport in the Thompson-Okanagan region.
Brost noted Sun Peaks airport shuttles to Kelowna have proven important to the resort’s growth in Ontario.
Guests can fly from Toronto with a one-stop to Kamloops Airport and be within a 45-minute drive of the resort.
Or, they can fly into Kelowna and drive the remaining 2.5 hours to the ski hill.
Los Angeles International, in addition to being the sixth-busiest airport in the world, is the third-busiest in the United States, offering more than 600 daily flights to 91 domestic cities and more than 1,000 weekly nonstop flights to 58 cities in 32 countries on nearly 75 air carriers.
In 2011, the airport saw more than 61 million passengers pass through its terminals.
United Airlines, which amalgamated with Continental Airlines last year to become the largest airline in the world, flies to 375 airports in 62 countries.
It is a founding member of the Star Alliance network of airlines that includes Air Canada.
It operates a fleet of 702 aircraft.
Kelowna International Airport director Sam Samaddar said the Golden State destination is a logical addition.
“California is the largest transborder market for Okanagan residents and currently accounts for 28 per cent of the outbound travel to the U.S.”