YLW passenger numbers soar to new heights

New destinations, new airlines and growing passenger numbers have made 2013 a record-breaking year for Kelowna International Airport (YLW).

“This has been a tremendous year for the YLW community,” says Airport Director Sam Samaddar.  “We have a record number of airlines serving our region to a record number of destinations and we had each of the 12 months reach record breaking numbers.”

In 2013, Air North-Yukon’s Airline and Pacific Coastal Airlines both added YLW to their route map, while Abbottsford, Whitehorse, Cranbrook and Ixtapa/Zihautanejo, Mexico, became new destinations for YLW passengers.

“Two new air carriers, four new destinations and more partnerships with our travel and business stakeholders have helped YLW serve over 1.5 million passengers in 2013,” says Samaddar.

With every month breaking all time highs at YLW, passenger numbers reached 1,503,288 which is 4.11 per cent above the 2012 record year (1,443,997 passengers) and 8.14 per cent ahead of 2011 year-end passengers numbers (1,390,187).

“August was once again the busiest month of the year with 143,555 passengers using YLW, which was 5.5 per cent ahead of August 2012. December was the second busiest month with 136,145 passengers through the terminal.”

2013 began with the addition of United Airlines service to Los Angeles, inaugurated a few weeks earlier on Dec. 18, 2012. In April, Northwestern Air began service to Abbotsford; June saw Air North-Yukon’s Airline begin seasonal service to Whitehorse, however with strong passenger loads and success in the market they continued to offer the service year-round. In November, Pacific Coastal Airlines provided a much needed connection between the Okanagan and the Kootenays with Cranbrook, and Sunwing Airlines offered a new destination to winter sun seekers to Ixtapa/Zihautanejo Mexico.

YLW offers over 60 daily non-stop commercial flights with Air Canada, Air North-Yukon’s Airline, Alaska Airlines, Central Mountain Air, Northwestern Air, Pacific Coastal Airlines, WestJet and United Airlines to Vancouver, Victoria, Abbotsford, Cranbrook, Prince George, Whitehorse, Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Toronto, Seattle, and Los Angeles, plus seasonal service to Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, and Cancun, and sun destination charter services by Transat Holidays and Sunwing to Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Ixtapa/Zihautanejo Mexico.  

For more information on YLW visit the airport’s official website at ylw.kelowna.ca

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