The first non-stops to and from Los Angeles have hardly taken off and already United Airlines is talking about adding to its Kelowna service.
"The once-a-day service we have in Kelowna right now is more of a let's see if it will work exercise," said United's Chicago-based network planning manager Martin Kammerman while in Kelowna this week to help launch the first Kelowna-L.A. flights.
"The goal when you start up is always to have two flights a day because it catches on and it offers people more choice."
Currently, United is flying a 66-seat jet Kelowna-to-L.A. from 8 a.m. to 10:51 a.m. daily, with the return L.A.-to-Kelowna flight everyday, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
A second flight a day in the morning coming to Kelowna and afternoon back to L.A. could be an option since advance bookings on the original service is already strong.
For now, about 55 per cent of passengers are originating in Kelowna and going to L.A. to holiday or catch a connecting flight to Mexico, Central or South America, the South Pacific, Asia, Australia or New Zealand.
There's also a smattering of people from the Okanagan going to L.A. on business.
That leaves 45 per cent coming from L.A. to Kelowna to ski or do business.
In January the ratio changes to 70 per cent of passengers being from Kelowna.
"The goal with a route is always to be 50/50," said Kammerman.
Sixty-five per cent of Okanagan passengers going to L.A. are connecting on to other destinations with Palm Springs, San Diego, Honolulu, Maui, Phoenix, San Francisco, Orlando, Tampa, Las Vegas and Sydney being the most popular choices.
That led Kammerman to speculate that United is interested in another Kelowna flight to an American destination, likely San Francisco because that was the city originally pegged for non-stops before the airline settled on L.A.
But Denver, Chicago (United's hometown), Houston, Washington D.C. and New York are also possibilities because they are destinations in their own right, but also big United connection cities.
Kelowna was considered by United for five years before a decision was finally made.
In the meantime, as the world's largest airline, United has been on an aggressive expansion in Canada introducing flights out of Saskatoon, Regina, Victoria and Thunder Bay, and beefing up existing service from Edmonton and Calgary.
United often also code shares with Air Canada, meaning Air Canada can sell seats on the United planes through its reservation systems.
WestJet also flies non-stop to L.A. from Kelowna, weekly on Saturdays.
Kelowna Airport has non-stop flights to 14 other destinations - Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle, Prince George, Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Toronto, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan.