Penticton failed in its bid to be among the first destinations chosen for WestJet's new Encore regional airline, but Mayor Dan Ashton says he's positive the city will still land the air carrier.
Monday's long-awaited proclamation saw WestJet Encore announce non-stop service between Nanaimo and Calgary, as well as links with Fort St. John from both Vancouver and Calgary.
New daily flights between Vancouver and Victoria were also announced. The new routes are due to start June 24.
Ashton said Monday he's optimistic that Encore service to Penticton is still pending.
"I would love that Penticton would've been announced in the first go-round, but I know that their airplanes are being phased in," he said.
WestJet Encore takes delivery of its first two 78-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft in June, with five more expected by the end of the year, when more route announcements are expected.
Ashton said that WestJet's decision to launch its Encore service in Western Canada speaks well for Penticton's chances.
"It appears they're using the West to launch the new Encore, so that just makes it better for Penticton in the future," he said.
"I'm looking forward to further announcements from WestJet."
The mayor pointed to Penticton's high-profile lobbying campaign, including the video of an airport flash mob last March that involved about 500 people.
"We've been active - we've been communicating with them in the sense of making them aware that Penticton is still here and looking forward to it," he said.
Ashton noted there are more than 90,000 people in the region.