Working together to support air service Okanagan and Fort McMurray meet

 Working together to support air service Okanagan and Fort McMurray meet

 Alberta oil and Okanagan wine when mixed together make a strong foundation in air service retention. That will be the underline message as airport to airport, tourism to tourism and business to business meet October 9, 2014 at the Cove Lakeside Resort in a one-day business exchange to discuss how to further support the recently launched WestJet service between YLW (Kelowna International Airport) and YMM (Fort McMurray International Airport).

Kelowna International Airport and the Greater Westside Board of Trade are co-hosting the contingent from Fort McMurray which includes representatives from YMM, Tourism, Economic Development, Chamber of Commerce, First Nations, Hotel Associations, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and media.  Similar representatives from the North, Central and South Okanagan groups will welcome the group including West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater and City of Kelowna Mayor and Chair of the Airport Advisory Committee Walter Gray.  A member of the WestJet sales team will close off the event for both groups at the dinner reception.

“When we land a new destination it takes a team of people like this to come together to meet, plan and  support this new air service through partnerships, cross promotion within our working groups and business development,” says Airport Director Sam Samaddar.  “When we launched this route on May 12, 2014 YMM and their partners graciously hosted us for the day and from there relationships were forged. It’s important to follow up with meetings like today and continue to plan how our two regions can work together to support this route with tourism and business connections.”

“The linking of Kelowna and Fort McMurray is a huge benefit to both regions,” says Fort McMurray Airport Authority President & CEO Scott Clements. “This nonstop air service with WestJet provides better business and tourism access to both our regions and considerably reduces the travel time to the entire Thompson-Okanagan valley. Meetings such as this which link our two communities are vital to not only the success of the business partnerships that were forged when this route was first launched but to the overall success of the air service. We are thrilled that the two communities realize the value and benefit of fostering these relationships.”

The group has a full agenda of presentations ending the day with a wine tour, joining in the Greater Westside Board of Trade Business After Hours at Mission Hill Winery and closing the evening with a late dinner and concluding remarks from both region’s airline partner WestJet.

Greater Westside Co-Chair Norm LeCavalier explains, "Our mandate focuses on collaboration, economic sustainability and advocating opportunities for local businesses. When we were approached by YLW to co-host this business exchange, we jumped at it. It aligns perfectly with our priorities. This opportunity gives the Okanagan region as a whole to showcase our highlights and the benefits of doing business here."

WestJet offers Monday to Friday service between YLW and YMM with flights departing YMM at 10:30 pm and arriving at YLW at 11:37 pm; and departing YLW at 7:30 am and arriving at YMM at 10:28 am.  For more information go to ylw.kelowna.ca,  flyymm.com  or westjet.com.

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Editors Note:   Media are invited to attend the session from 9-2 or meet up with attendees at the Business After hours event from 5 – 7 pm at Mission Hill Winery.   

 For more information:

Jenelle Hynes - YLW

Media Spokesperson

Mobile: 250-317-0579

Email: jhynes@kelowna.ca

 Jesse Meyer - YMM
Manager, Commercial Services

Mobile: +1 780 788 5290
Email: jesse.meyer@flyymm.com