Kelowna and Saskatoon Airports Receive Federal Funding to Promote International Connections

Apr 22, 2019

Saskatoon and Kelowna airports are important destinations for both tourists and business travellers. Maintaining international flights into both centres, and promoting new flights, is essential for increasing economic development and tourism opportunities.

On April 18, Stephen Fuhr, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country, on behalf of Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), announced $840,000 in funding for the Saskatoon Airport Authority, in partnership with Kelowna International Airport, to promote tourism and trade through developing and sustaining trans-border air routes for Saskatoon and Kelowna airports.

Through this investment, the Saskatoon and Kelowna airports will work to develop strategies and marketing campaigns to increase trans-border air passenger traffic in their two regions. The initiatives will target airlines, while also marketing Saskatoon and Kelowna as tourist destinations in major U.S. cities. Tourism employs 15,000 people in the Kelowna area, and another 16,500 in Saskatoon. Additionally, a number of large, international companies based in each of these centres rely on trans-border air travel for their own employees and those seeking to do business with them.

Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan aims to build an economy in which Canadians have access to high-quality jobs and Canadian businesses are well-placed to participate in a rapidly evolving and competitive global marketplace.

“Our government is laying the foundation for Canadians to become more competitive and succeed in the global economy,” said Minister Bains. “Today’s investment in the Saskatoon Airport Authority, partnered with the Kelowna International Airport, builds on our competitive advantages and will result in better access for international travellers to Kelowna and Saskatoon, boosting economic growth and creating good, middle-class jobs for Canadians.”

“The Okanagan Valley sustains successful diverse communities and outstanding recreational opportunities in Kelowna and the corridor,” said Fuhr. “Kelowna is the largest community and is also often recognized for its innovative entrepreneurs as well as large corporations. The Government of Canada supports the efforts of Kelowna and Saskatoon airports, as they strive to serve the needs of tourism and business sectors effectively.”

“We continue to hear from our community about the importance of enhancing our air service connections for economic development, tourism and business,” said Stephen Maybury, president and CEO, Saskatoon Airport Authority. “The funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada will support our efforts to sustainably grow connectivity through air service options that are valued by the province of Saskatchewan. We are proud to partner with Kelowna International Airport and would like to thank Western Economic Diversification Canada and the federal government for supporting Canadian airports in attracting essential air services to our communities.”

“We’re excited to partner with Western Economic Diversification Canada and Saskatoon Airport to enhance connections for leisure and business travel,” said Mayor Colin Basran, City of Kelowna. “Providing access to the United States is a key component of a resilient economy and the investment will give YLW the opportunity to enhance its air service for the benefit of the region and Kelowna residents.”

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