More planes a delight for Sun Peaks

increased number of flights between Calgary and Kamloops has immediate impacts

Kamloops This Week

Changes to the schedule of flights by WestJet has brought smiles to the faces of the folks charged with marketing Sun Peaks Resort.

Christopher Nicolson, president of Tourism Sun Peaks, said the addition of more routes between Calgary and Kamloops, as well as new routes between Vancouver and Kamloops, can only mean good things for the resort.

“When Kamloops Airport and Tourism Sun Peaks met with WestJet,” Nicolson said in a press release, “they saw the importance of frequency and the opportunity Encore [the WestJet service] presented to increase frequency into Kamloops.

“The increased number of flights between Calgary and Kamloops has immediate impacts on our upcoming winter marketing decisions.”

The changes are part of 29 being made to various routes serviced by the airline and will come into effect for its 2013-2014 fiscal year.

Nicolson said the announcement will resonate outside Canada, with the new route between Kamloops and Vancouver offering “benefits to regional travellers but also has potential impacts for international visitors.”

Fred Legace, managing director at the airport, said the first change — the Calgary to Kamloops route — begins Oct. 27 when the last of the 737 jets that have travelled that route flies out of the city just after 7 a.m. and, just after 1:30 p.m., the first of the two new routes between the cities arrives.

Legace said WestJet will be introducing new Bombardier Q400 on the routes,  planes the airline took ownership of last month.

Legace said the Canadian-built planes are quieter and provide a smoother flight than older plane models.

The new Vancouver-to-Kamloops-and-back flight begins on Nov. 25.

• Meanwhile, the local airport reported an increase in passenger traffic for June from the same period last year.

The month saw 21,855 passengers use the facility, up 2.7 per cent from the 21,254 during June, 2012.

That brings the year-to-date total for the first six months to 142,597, up 4.1 per cent from the 136,734 who travelled through the airport in the first six months of 2012.