May 09, 2013 - 11:23 AM
On May 10, 1998, Horizon Air landed its first 37-passenger Dash 8-200 at Kelowna International Airport (YLW) from Seattle. It was the first year-round scheduled service to the United States from YLW. At the time, annual passenger numbers were just under 800,000 and the airport was embarking on a $20-million terminal expansion project.
Today, Horizon Air, now flying as Alaska Airlines, connects to over 90 cities from Kelowna to Seattle (SEA). The carrier flies up to 76 passengers on a Bombardier Q400 turboprop twice a day to/from SEA (three times daily during the winter season). Currently, YLW serves nearly 1.5 million passengers a year and is undergoing the next phase of a $50.5 million airport expansion project.
“Fifteen years of service with Alaska Airlines has expanded our reach with tourism as well as with the business sector,” says Airport Director Sam Samaddar. “We knew 15 years ago having this service was important to our region and today it’s more important than ever as travel for work and leisure has become the norm due to lower fares and accessibility. Alaska Airlines is important part of the YLW family.”
Although there have been many changes in the last 15 years at YLW, it is interesting to note the Mayor and members of Kelowna City Council in 1998 included Mayor Walter Gray and Councillors Andre Blanleil and Robert Hobson.
YLW will celebrate 15 years of service with Alaska Airlines by providing travellers flying on Alaska on Friday with a warm YLW send off, as well as hosting Horizon Air President Glenn Johnson in morning meetings with tourism and economic stakeholder groups.
Johnson will also be the keynote speaker at the Kelowna Chamber Luncheon, sharing his thoughts on the dramatic transitions over the past decade in the U.S. Airline industry and at Alaska Air Group, the parent company for Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air. The luncheon will be held at the Hotel Eldorado at 11:45 a.m. For tickets, contact the Kelowna Chamber.
For information about Alaska Airlines’ service from YLW, visit ylw.kelowna.ca.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013