Kelowna airport seeing faster recovery of domestic flights than international ones | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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Kelowna airport seeing faster recovery of domestic flights than international ones

December 2021 was almost as busy at the Kelowna International Airport as a typical pre-pandemic December but January 2022 was off to a much slower start.

Airport manager Sam Samaddar said domestic travel is recovering at a faster pace than international travel. The amount of passengers in December returned to 80% of their pre-pandemic levels, he said.

Prior to COVID-19, January was a popular month for Australian skiers to travel to Big White through the Kelowna airport but Samaddar said that is not the case this year.

“International travel market is still very far behind where it needs to be,” he said.

One reason why many people are hesitant to travel internationally, Samaddar said, is because “there are a lot of different rules depending on where you’re flying.”

However, many locals appear to be braving international flights from Kelowna to Mexico.

“I can only go by what I'm seeing here in Kelowna but I've seen quite a bit of demand – flights this morning to Cabos were full,” Samaddar said.

READ MORE: International flights set to resume at Kelowna airport

Although air travel remains down across Canada since the start of the pandemic, Kelowna is recovering at a rate much faster than most airports, he said.

For people willing to travel with nothing more than a backpack – and maybe a carry-on if they’re lucky – there are some affordable ways to see the continent.

The ultra-low-cost-carrier model starts airline tickets out at very cheap prices, but even selecting a seat or carrying on a duffle bag will cost extra. Samaddar said Canada lagged behind other parts of the world in adopting that concept of pricing.

“Places like Europe are used to doing that,” he said. “You can decide what your travel requirements are, decide how much you want to pay for and go from there.”

READ MORE: Parkade, hotel being proposed at Kelowna airport next year

Flights from Kelowna to Vancouver can be found at $111.50.
Flights from Kelowna to Vancouver can be found at $111.50.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED

Flights from Kelowna to Toronto are going for $169.70.
Flights from Kelowna to Toronto are going for $169.70.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED

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