Kelowna loses flights to Fort Mac due to downturn in oil and gas industry

A downturn in the oil and gas industry has resulted in an alteration of services at Kelowna International Airport.

  • Dec. 18, 2015 8:00 p.m.

A downturn in the oil and gas industry has resulted in an alteration of services at Kelowna International Airport.

WestJet will be suspending direct service between Fort McMurray  and Kelowna, effective Feb. 15, 2016.

The flight between the two cities has seen a significant decrease in passengers over the last year. The service relied heavily on commuting workers, and the economic downturn in the oil industry has created less demand for air travel within the sector.

“We’re hopeful that this service will be reinstated once the economy shifts and demand for the service returns,” said Sam Samaddar, Airport Director. “Kelowna passengers will continue to be able to fly to Fort McMurray via connections in Calgary, Edmonton or Vancouver.”

Developing and maintaining air service is a priority for YLW. It takes the support of community, business, tourism and political partners to ensure the success of a route. Demand for air service can fluctuate from year to year based on several factors, including the regional economy.

Kelowna International Airport (YLW) will see some changes to air service in 2016. WestJet will be increasing service to Victoria International Airport (YYJ), beginning February 15, 2016. The additional flight will operate twice a day, seven days a week.

For more information on the additional service or to make reservations visit

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