Panel

The panel at the Canadian Airports Council national conference Thursday at the Delta Grand hotel was made up of, from left, Daniel Gooch, from the council, Craig Richmond of Vancouver International Airport, Sam Samaddar of Kelowna International Airport, Geoff Dickson of Victoria International Airport and Howard Eng of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could board a plane with the wonder and excitement of a five-year-old child rather than dread from the lineups you just endured and the long flight ahead?

“Through this campaign (Wonder Takes Flight), we hope to reignite frequent travellers’ enthusiasm for air travel, whether it be for business, leisure or exploration,” said Kelowna International Airport director Sam Samaddar.

“We’re proud of Canada’s airports. They serve as a hub for business and technology, as well as the gateway to excitement and adventure.”

Samaddar also chairs the Canadian Airports Council, the group that’s holding its three-day national conference at Kelowna’s Delta Grand hotel this week.

Samaddar joined four other airport executives Thursday for a panel discussion of Wonder Takes Flight and other news from airports.

The council recently launched Wonder Takes Flight as a bilingual marketing campaign with materials for both social media and in-airport promotion.

The 54-second Wonder Takes Flight video on YouTube shows a little girl entering an airport with her parents for the first time.

There’s a succession of “whoa” moments as she sees sharply dressed pilots and flight attendants walk by, watches luggage get screened, is transported on a movable walkway and scans her boarding pass to get on the plane.

The final scene of the video is of the girl all grown up and still being wowed by the sight of jets on the tarmac.

The council hopes the campaign reminds Canadians of the anticipation and magic they once felt entering an airport.

Besides being on YouTube, Wonder Takes Flight messages are being shared on the council’s social media channels, and airports across the country, including Kelowna’s, are doing the same.

Airports are also donating on-site digital and print billboards for Wonder Takes Flight visuals.

So far, there have been 7.5 million impressions on social media.

It’s designed to be a multi-year campaign.

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