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International travel to resume at Kelowna airport

International travel will return on Nov. 30
Kelowna International Airport. (File)

Transport Canada announced on Tuesday (Nov. 2) that international travel will resume at Kelowna International Airport (YLW) on Nov. 30.

YLW was just one of eight national airports named in the announcement, which also included Abbotsford International and Victoria International.

“Today the government finally announced that Kelowna International Airport will once again be allowed to accept international flights, after months of significant pressure,” said Kelowna–Lake Country MP Tracy Gray.

Since July, Gray had sent three letters to the Ministry of Transport asking for the federal government to open YLW to international travel. A number of local businesses recently joined Gray and called on the airport to resume international flights.

However, Sam Samaddar, YLW’s director said, it will take some time to have international flights operating again out of the Kelowna airport.

“Some airlines have had to push back previously scheduled routes until 2022, due to the uncertainty of timing of YLW’s international status,” said Samaddar.

Currently YLW is anticipating the return of the following routes in the near future:

•Alaska – Seattle – Dec. 16, 2021

•Sunwing – Varadero – January 2022

•WestJet – Phoenix, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun – January 2022

YLW has been closed to international travel since April 9, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With files from Joshua Fischlin

READ MORE: ‘Bureaucratic bungle’: No timeline on Kelowna airport opening to international travel

READ MORE: Kelowna airport at risk of losing $2.5M over stagnation of international travel


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