Summerlanders are joining the growing chorus of South Okanagan residents asking WestJet to bring its air service to the Penticton Airport.
On Saturday, a flash mob of around 500 people gathered in Penticton to present a message asking for the airline to provide service to the region.
At present, Air Canada operates from Penticton, but the closest WestJet service is in Kelowna.
Mayor Janice Perrino said Summerland and the rest of the South Okanagan would benefit from WestJet service.
“There certainly is a need and a tremendous desire,” she said. “How unreasonable is it to ask people to travel to Kelowna?”
She said bringing the airline to Penticton would benefit Summerland residents and tourism-related businesses in the area.
Lisa Jaager, manager of the Summerland Chamber of Economic Development and Tourism, said Summerland would gain from the expanded WestJet service.
”It can only be good for us,” she said. “We support WestJet coming to the South Okanagan. The more people coming into Penticton the better off we are.”
She added that the air service would bring more tourists to the area and eventually it could result in some of those tourists becoming residents.
A Facebook page has been set up to entice WestJet to Penticton and online petitions and surveys are also circulating.