The Province

Penticton is ‘Westjetvil­le’ for a day

- BY LARISSA CAHUTE lcahute@theprovinc­

Penticton Mayor Dan Ashton has changed the name of his city to Westjetvil­le.

It’s in a bid to land WestJet’s new regional airline at the Penticton airport.

The name change, though, is only for today.

“It’s just a proclamati­on for the community — we’re just showing WestJet that we have a keen interest in them considerin­g us in their new regional airline,” Ashton said Wednesday.

He’s hoping the name change will help Penticton — or Westjetvil­le — stand out among the other applicant cities. Ashton, along with two other staff, travelled to Calgary on Wednesday to meet with WestJet management.

But like every other Penticton resident they had to organize a carpool, drive to Kelowna, find parking, pay for it, then fly out to Alberta.

“The City of Penticton has been very well served with [Air Canada’s] Jazz.” However, Jazz no longer flies east out of the city, said Ashton.

To travel east out of Penticton, the south Okanagan’s 80,000-plus residents must factor in the hour-long travel time and cost to the Kelowna airport. Ashton believes it would be much more efficient to have the direct flight available.

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