Beginning on December 16, nonstop flights will be available from Prince George Airport on Saturdays, departing and arriving in Puerto Vallarta. It takes a little over five hours to complete the flight.
According to Gordon Duke, chief executive officer of the Prince George Airport Authority, “We’ve heard consistently from our community, from the entire region, for the past three and a half years about when we’re going to get that service back.”
“A lot of locals have access to timeshares for condominiums or camping places down there, and being able to travel directly there definitely alters the situation. There is little concern about connecting to a major hub, and the presence of Canadian customs personnel at this airport is quite beneficial. The building has a Canada Border Services office and all the amenities required for them to efficiently process a flight.
With the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020, WestJet’s service between Prince George and Puerto Vallarta came to an end. Since then, no commercial flights have operated on that route. Three years after Air Transat began offering direct service to Prince George in 2005, WestJet took over.
According to Duke, WestJet changed its flight schedule to resume service between Prince George and Mexico, and it will now fly its Puerto Vallarta flights on a Boeing 737 with a passenger capacity of between 160 and 180.
At this time, Duke added, “We’re one of the few regional airports with that direct service.”
“Now it’s up to everyone of us to use the flight, and if we’re a proven market, we can expand from there and add destinations. Because of how difficult it has been for our business to recover from the pandemic, I believe there is a desire for people to flee. Having that direct, nonstop service really increases the level of assurance.
Flights on Saturday will depart at 1 p.m. PT and touch down in Puerto Vallarta at 8:21 p.m. PT. At 8:20 a.m., the return aircraft will depart from Mexico and arrive in Prince George at 12:01 p.m.
By April 20, 2024, the last flight out of Prince George will have operated for 20 weeks.
Online booking for flights is now possible.
When Flair Airlines began operating weekly flights to Tucson, Arizona, last fall, Prince George was able to resume direct international travel. Even though the Flair itinerary hasn’t been confirmed, according to Duke, it’s unlikely that those flights from YXS will restart this year.