California’s calling… and it comes with a wide range of opportunities for Manitobans.
On October 31, the first flight of WestJet’s new, non-stop route between Winnipeg and Los Angeles took off from Winnipeg Richardson International Airport. The year-round service will help provide more options for leisure travel, more convenience for those flying for business, and more dollars for the province’s economy.
“At Winnipeg Airports Authority, we’re committed to growing the connectivity of the region we serve to benefit all Manitobans,” said WAA President & CEO Nick Hays. “We’re ecstatic to help bring this valuable route to Winnipeg Richardson International Airport and are proud to work with all our partners to show industries across the world that Manitoba is the place to be.”
Here are just some ways non-stop flights to Los Angeles will help meet the needs of everyone who lives and works in Manitoba and enable the province to thrive.
This is the first new route to launch at YWG in two years, with Los Angeles being the first new major destination out of Winnipeg since 2016. It also provides Manitobans direct access to what aviation data and analytics provider OAG considers one of the most connected airports in the world.
Lights, Camera, Action!
Thanks to the new route, Winnipeg is now just one flight away from the bright lights of Hollywood, allowing executives, actors, and others working in the film and television industries to travel to and from the globally renowned entertainment mecca easily.
The sector brought more than $364 million worth of production volume to the province last year, according to Manitoba Film & Music, helping to generate business for 36 Manitoba production companies.
“We've made a significant investment in Manitoba, building out a 187,000-square-foot, full-service film production facility with four sound stages, the first new production infrastructure project in 20 years, elevating the scale of what is possible in Winnipeg," said Ed Kolic, CEO of Big Sky Studios. "Big Sky is just 15 minutes from the airport, and the addition of non-stop flights between Winnipeg and Los Angeles makes for efficient and convenient travel, something we know is a definite game changer now for producers when choosing their filming location."
Other industries, such as fashion, tech, manufacturing, and life sciences, also stand to benefit from the non-stop flights to Southern California.
With a population of nearly 19 million, the greater Los Angeles area is the second-largest metropolitan region in the United States. The new route will allow Manitoba business owners and professionals to fly to the valuable market within four hours, reducing travel time by almost 50 per cent.
“The Los Angeles market is huge for streetwear, which is what we specialize in,” said Nick Welch, co-founder of Winnipeg-based FFO Clothing. “There are tons of networking opportunities down there, plus we have influencers that play in the NBA, so this route will make it a lot easier to visit them. The non-stop flights will also give me more time to spend with my kids and focus on growing my business.”
When it comes to visiting Manitoba, it’s something Californians like to do... a lot. In fact, compared to all U.S states, visitors from California spent the third most dollars in Manitoba last year, dropping $6.3 million in our province’s economy, according to Destination Canada.
“California, and Los Angeles, in particular, has shown strong interest in Manitoba,” said Colin Ferguson, President and CEO of Travel Manitoba. “With the support of Destination Canada, we’ll be working to target the California market, particularly for Churchill’s polar bear experiences.”