Passenger numbers at Kelowna International Airport have dropped by 3.8 per cent year-over-year for the month of January due to fears about the coronavirus. (Paul Clarke - Photo)

Flight reductions at YLW due to COVID-19 concerns

The airport is open and flights are operating but flight reductions are expected

  • Mar. 19, 2020 12:00 a.m.

Kelowna International Airport (YLW) is open and flights are operating, however, flight reductions over the coming months are expected as airlines respond to curbing the spread of the virus.

The airport has released the following information as to what it knows about those reductions:

  • Air Canada has announced route cancellations on domestic and international routes. Kelowna-Toronto and Kelowna-Edmonton routes will be suspended from Mar. 23-Apr. 30. Other routes are operating, however, they may be on a reduced schedule.
  • WestJet announced the suspension of all commercial international and transborder operations for a 30-day period effective Sunday, March 22. In addition, WestJet’s domestic schedule will be reduced by 50 per cent. For more details and updates, visit blog.westjet.com
  • Swoop service to Las Vegas will be suspended as of Monday, March 23 due to COVID-19. For more information and rebooking options, visit FlySwoop.com/coronavirus
  • Sunwing Vacations has announced that it is suspending all southbound flights from March 17 to April 9. If you have a flight booked from YLW on Sunwing, visit Sunwing’s COVID-19 advisory page, talk to your travel agent, or call the airline directly at 1-877-786-9464 if you have questions.

The airport’s dining services will offer take-out service only, with the exception of White Spot, which is reducing table numbers to maintain social distancing.

YLW is working with health authorities to ensure best practices.

Enhanced screening measures have been in place at YLW under the direction of the Public Health Authority of Canada and those screening measures have been expanded and updated on an ongoing basis as the COVID-19 situation has evolved.

In addition, the airport has:

  • Increased sanitization of high-touch points throughout the airport, including employee areas.
  • Added more hand sanitizer stations throughout the terminal.
  • Implemented social distancing measures in the terminal and in employee areas.
  • Shared information from the public health authorities on hygiene practices that can reduce the spread of the disease.

“While the situation with COVID-19 is in flux, our commitment to safety and the well-being of everyone at YLW has not changed. We remain committed to ensuring a safe environment for everyone who comes into the airport,” said Sam Sammadar, airport director.

READ MORE: Three new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Interior Health, bringing total to 12

READ MORE: Okanagan craft distillery looks to make hand sanitizer amid COVID-19 pandemic


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