Whitehorse-Kelowna flights prompt business get-together

Okanagan entrepreneurs are in Yukon this week to promote business relationships between the regions, now that Air North is running twice-weekly flights Kelowna and Whitehorse.
Jenelle Hynes, a Kelowna International Airport representative, poses with the Loose Moose from the Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna. Some resorts in the area plan to offer discounts to Yukon residents now that there are twice-weekly flights between Kelowna and Whitehorse. (CBC)

Okanagan entrepreneurs are in Whitehorse this week to promote business relationships between the regions.

It's an idea that began when Air North launched direct flights to Kelowna in May.

Jenelle Hynes is with the Kelowna International Airport.

“We're doing a lot of promotion in the Okanagan to get people to come and, vice-versa, to get people to come down,” Hynes says. “People just don't think about coming to Whitehorse unless they have family or friends. We're actually telling them this needs to be on their bucket list. And we're promoting that, that actually strengthens the service.”

Debra Ryan is with Air North. She says there was a high demand to add Kelowna as one of its destinations, because many Yukoners have ties to the region.

“Lots of families have their students attending UBC in the Okanagan. A lot of expat Yukoners have settled in the Okanagan.”

Ryan says lots of Yukoners also like the travel options.

“They have short little weekends to go away and the Okanagan was clearly one of the destinations that appealed,” Ryan says.

Okanagan ski resorts plan to offer special discounts for Yukoners.

But it's not all just for leisure.

“There's a lot of workforce that live in the Okanagan to travel to the north for their jobs,” Ryan says, “so we were able help to build the route for these groups of people.”

Kelowna International Airport plans to promote the Yukon by creating trivia questions about the territory on social media.

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