Air Canada finds compromise to controversial schedule change at Penticton airport - InfoNews

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Air Canada finds compromise to controversial schedule change at Penticton airport

Air Canada government relations Director Serge Corbeil announced revised scheduling for Air Canada flights between Penticton and Vancouver at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, Thursday, May 2, 2019.
May 02, 2019 - 3:13 PM

PENTICTON - Air Canada has come up with a compromise following a backlash from the community to proposed changes to flights to and from Penticton and Vancouver.

Air Canada government relations representative Serge Corbeil met with local politicians at the Southern Interior Local Government Association convention in Penticton today, May 2, to announce adjustments to the air carrier’s recently revised flight schedule out of Penticton Regional Airport.

The move was a response to months of communications from residents and politicians in an effort to convince Air Canada not to change to the flight schedule that would have seen it drop the 6:00 a.m. flight to Vancouver, and the 11 p.m. final flight of the day back to Penticton from Vancouver.

Corbeil told reporters the company agreed to adjust the scheduling of the first and last flights following consultation with local officials, although the changes don’t return the flights to their original times.

The revamped schedule will see the first flight leave the city at 8:15 a.m., rather than 9:45 a.m. as had been originally planned. The last flight into Penticton was pushed back to 6:35 p.m. from 6 p.m.

Corbeil called it a win-win for the airline and Penticton. He said the changes would still allow residents to do a full day’s business in Vancouver and get back to Penticton in one day, in addition to maintaining the airline’s connections with other flights in the system. He said the schedule adjustment would also work in reverse, allowing Vancouver residents a full day in the Okanagan to conduct their activities.

“It’s a compromise that works. We were told the gap from (the former) 6 a.m. flight to 9:45 was significant and we were able to address that,” he said, adding the airline couldn’t look at its markets in isolation when making a schedule change.

“That’s why it took so long,” he said.

The original schedule changes went into effect yesterday, May 1. The revisions announced today will go into effect on June 1.

The airline is also replacing its Dash 8 service with new, larger, faster Bombardier Q-400 aircraft. Corbeil avoided the question as to whether Penticton residents would see more seat sales, now the airline has the additional capacity.


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