United Airlines axing Victoria-San Francisco flight

A decade of non-stop flights between Victoria and San Francisco is coming to an end Jan. 7.

“We continuously review the demand for travel in all of the cities we serve and due to low demand for travel between SFO [San Francisco] and Victoria, we made the decision to discontinue United Express service,” Jonathan Guerin, United Airlines spokesman, said in an email.

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Greater Victoria’s high-tech and tourism sectors celebrated when the service was initiated in May 2008. A 40-person delegation caught the first two-hour flight heading south.

Dan Gunn, executive director of the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council, said it was “a disappointment not to have the direct flight.”

But the mid-day timing for both directions was “proving challenging,” he said.

He is hopeful that another carrier will take over direct flights. In the meantime, he said travellers can go through Seattle or Vancouver, as many had been doing because of favourable timing. The United flight departs Victoria International Airport at 1:55 p.m. for San Francisco and arrives back at YYJ at 1:16 p.m.

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