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Kelowna News

Connecting wine country with the Rockies


The success of a new air route involves more than just getting 'bums in seats' once or twice a year. That was the underlining theme of a full-day Think Tank hosted by the City of Cranbrook Economic Development and Pacific Coastal Airlines on Nov. 20.

The goal was to brainstorm on how to make the new Kelowna - Cranbrook air service as vibrant as possible.

"We recognize that it takes the airline, both airports – in this case Kelowna International Airport (YLW) and Canadian Rockies International Airport (YXC) – politicians, tourism stakeholders, and the business and education communities to foster and grow the service," says YLW Airport Director, Sam Samaddar. "This is a great model we have established to assist with the launch of a new air service," he said.  "We saw great response and success when we introduced similar partnerships in Whitehorse with our Air North Service."

Participants from the Thompson Okanagan and the Kootenay Rockies regions met in three, roundtable discussions focused on tourism, education and economic development. "Participating in this event in Cranbrook to support the Pacific Coastal service identified that we each have two unique regions that are now much more accessible – in just 50 minutes rather than a six-hour drive which is the only other direct option,” says Samaddar.

Over the next six months efforts will be made to develop more brand awareness in both regions and work on cross promotion.   The regional stakeholders and Pacific Coastal Airlines plan to meet again in 2014 to evaluate the success of the campaign.

In recognition of the new route launch to Cranbrook, airline network news and analysis Anna.Aero  identified YLW for two industry awards: Route of the Week, an enterprise award recognizing new routes of special economic significance to the communities served; and the Arch of Triumph, for the best route launch fire truck water arch conducted by YLW’s Airport Operations Specialists/Firefighters.

“In one sense it (the Arch of Triumph award) underlines the marketing efforts made by airports like YLW to support and sustain the new routes of their airline customers,” explains Publisher Paul Hogan. “More significantly, while we all hope never to need the life-saving services of our dedicated airport firefighters, it is a chance to honour them for their superb dexterity and skills stemming from thousands of hours of training, and life-long dedication to constant readiness.”

“We are extremely proud to be named for both Anna.Aero awards this week,” says Airport Director Sam Samaddar.  “A successful new route launch involves developing strong partnerships between the airline, our two airports (YLW & YXC) and the Okanagan and Kootenay regions this new route will serve – we have established a great team here!”

News from © iNFOnews, 2013

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