Vail's first international nonstop flight is set to land December 14. Air Canada flight 1051 from Toronto Airport (YYZ) will arrive at Eagle County Airport (EGE) Saturday, December 14 at 11:45 a.m.
The Saturday service runs weekly through April 5, 2014, and is the second nonstop western ski gateway from Toronto, behind Denver. The new flight will aid access from eastern Canada to Vail and Beaver Creek.
The new service comes after a round of good weather for western U.S. ski resorts. Early season snowfall has allowed resorts in Colorado, California and Utah to open additional terrain in time for the holiday travel season.
Vail got its first snow of the season at the start of October, well ahead of the season opener on November 22. This season Vail's Mountaintop Express Lift (#4), which serves Vail's Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin, will be replaced with a new six-passenger chairlift. The new lift will increase capacity by 33 percent, reducing lift lines and building upon the success of the newly built state-of-the-art Gondola One.
“It’s been great to see Toronto area guests committing to their ski and snowboard vacations in Vail and Beaver Creek through early-booking offers,” said Davy Ratchford, director of sales and marketing for Vail Mountain. “We are thrilled to welcome Air Canada to the Vail Valley and are proud to be able to offer Canadian visitors a seamless transportation option to Vail and Beaver Creek, just in time for the holidays and all winter long.”
“What's particularly exciting about this flight is that existing agreements allow Canadian visitors to clear customs in Canada at the Toronto Pearson International Airport before they depart and after they arrive home," said Greg Phillips, director of aviation for Eagle County Airport.
The inbound flight scheduled from Toronto will depart at 9:50 a.m., arriving at Eagle County Airport at 11:45 a.m., allowing for same-day skiing and riding at Vail or Beaver Creek. Outbound flights from Eagle County Airport will depart at 12:30 p.m., arriving in Toronto at 5:43 p.m.
“Air Canada is pleased to launch the only nonstop service from Toronto-Pearson into Eagle County Airport, connecting Canadians with Colorado’s world-famous resorts of Vail and Beaver Creek,” said Marcel Forget, Air Canada’s vice president, network planning. “Travelers eager to begin their ski holiday will appreciate the convenience of a mid-day arrival with just a short, 30-minute drive before reaching the slopes.”
Daily connections are available with Star Alliance partner United Airlines for service from Eagle County Airport to Denver, connecting to Air Canada from Denver to Toronto. Air Canada also offers convenient connections to other major Canadian cities, including Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax.
Eagle County Airport is approximately 25 miles from Beaver Creek and 35 miles from Vail, with door-to-door transfers to accommodations in Vail or Beaver Creek available from Colorado Mountain Express, offering shared shuttle and private chauffeured SUV options.