The winter ski season is already shaping up to be a strong one with Air Canada starting additional flights between Kamloops and Vancouver almost two months early.
There are normally five flights a day from Fulton Field to YVR. Last winter, Air Canada added two extra flights in early December.
Kamloops Airport manager Fred Legace said the carrier has enough confidence in the seven daily runs to begin them on Oct. 28.
“This gives me a little bit of hope that the winter season looks like it’s going to do quite well,” Legace said Friday.
Air Canada and other carriers keep close tabs on advance seat sales, he said. In this case, there were likely enough pre-sales to justify starting the two flights early.
An official with Air Canada could not be reached for comment.
News of the early start has staff at Sun Peaks Resort excited. Tourism Sun Peaks president Christopher Nicolson said last year’s schedule suited the prime Christmas ski season and worked great.
Starting on Oct. 28 means the extra flights beat the opening of the 2012-2013 ski season, which begins Nov. 17.
He added the timing is good for visiting ski teams, like the Austrian national team, that train at Sun Peaks in November.
“Right now it’s looking very good and very optimistic,” he said.
Ski traffic might have motivated Air Canada’s decision, but Venture Kamloops interim executive director Anita Grover said the extra flights suggest Kamloops is becoming more than a seasonal destination.
“People are travelling more and more throughout the year,” she said.