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It's definitely not too early to start dreaming of your escape south this winter.
Airports and airlines know that and that's why non-stop flights from Kelowna to five alluring sunspots for winter 2022-23 have already been announced.
"Both WestJet and Sunwing will be flying non-stop to sun destinations this winter from Kelowna," said Kelowna International Airport director Sam Samaddar.
"Kelowna will be well-served."
The non-stops go to desirable tourism havens -- Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas and Phoenix.
In fact, as a regional airport that serves the entire Southern Interior, Kelowna tends to bat above its weight and has more non-stops to sun destinations than other cities or airports of a similar size.
WestJet will start twice-weekly service -- Sundays and Fridays -- to this resort zone on the Mexican Caribbean on Nov. 13.
From Dec. 19 to Jan. 8 the frequency will be amped up to three times a week (Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays) to handle the Christmas and New Year's rush.
From Jan. 9 to April 23 the flights will resume twice weekly and for the final week of the season (April 24-30) there will only be a Friday flight.
The starting price is $456 each way.
Sunwing will also jet to Cancun weekly on Thursdays, Dec. 15 to April 20.
Fares start at $1,005 for both ways.
WestJet will fly this route to Mexico's west coast weekly on Thursdays from Nov. 3 to Dec. 18 and then pick up the pace to twice a week with the addition of Mondays from Dec. 19 to April 23.
Fares start at $382 each way.
Sunwing is bringing back service to this destination on Mexico's Pacific after a few years absence.
Weekly flights on Fridays run Dec. 16 to April 21 and fares start at $935 for both ways.
Cabo San Lucas
This tourism hotspot at the southern tip of Mexico's Baja Peninsula will be served weekly on Fridays by WestJet from Nov. 5 to April 23.
Fares start at $306 each way.
This metropolis in the Arizona desert will be accessible via weekly WestJet flights on Wednesdays, Nov. 16 through April 30.
Flight prices start at $248 each way.
Samaddar also mentioned that non-stop flights between Kelowna and Montreal are back.
"Air Canada took a summer hiatus from the route because it had to reduce service due to the labour shortage," said Samaddar.
The flights, which resumed this month, are weekly with the Montreal-Kelowna leg coming in Saturday evenings and the Kelowna-Montreal portion going out Sunday mornings.
The frequency is likely to be bumped up to twice weekly come spring.
Fares start at $342 each way.
In all, the Kelowna airport schedule has 10 airlines (WestJet, Air Canada, Swoop, Pacific Coastal, Central Mountain, Alaska, Air North, Flair, Sunwing and Lynx) flying non-stop to 16 destinations -- the aforementioned Mazatlan, Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Phoenix and Montreal, plus Vancouver, Victoria, Prince George, Whitehorse, Seattle, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto.
Kelowna airport is well into its post-COVID recovery.
For the seven months ended July 30, the passenger count was 930,253, up 23% from the same period in pandemic-dampened 2021, but down 22% from pre-COVID 2019.
2022 is forecast to end up with a 1.7 million passenger count, which is 85% of 2019's two million.
The highest-ever annual passenger volume for the airport was 2.1 million in 2018.
"The airport is on track to meet or exceed that record in 2023 as we continue to recover well from the pandemic," said Samaddar.