CALGARY, AB and VANCOUVER, BC, Oct. 18, 2022 /CNW/ – Today, WestJet and Pacific Coastal Airlines launched a reciprocal interline relationship, the first interline collaboration for Pacific Coastal Airlines.
Guests can now purchase a single ticket from either airline for travel involving connecting flights between their networks. Guests will enjoy the confidence of optimized connecting times and the convenience of checking in and receiving boarding passes for all flights at the first point of departure.
“We are thrilled to become the first interline partner for Pacific Coastal and to add to our existing WestJet Link relationship,” said John Weatherill, WestJet’s Chief Commercial Officer. “This new interline complements our network growth in Western Canada and the strong schedule we’re bringing to the communities we serve directly and through our partners like Pacific Coastal.”
“Pacific Coastal Airlines is proud to partner with WestJet on our first interline,” said Johnathan Richardson, Vice President of Customer and Commercial, Pacific Coastal Airlines. “We look forward to working together to connect the communities we serve and bring them exciting new options for their global travel needs.”
This new interline expands the existing relationship between the airlines, through which Pacific Coastal Airlines operates all WestJet Link flights on behalf of WestJet under a capacity purchase agreement, serving 11 communities in Alberta and British Columbia.
In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.
For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com.
Pacific Coastal Airlines was founded by Daryl Smith 35 years ago. The truck logger in Bella Coola, a small community on the central coast of British Columbia, decided to get a pilot’s license and purchased a small seaplane to make it easier to get in and out of remote camps. Some friends chipped in for fuel to tag along and thus began the adventure that led to Pacific Coastal Airlines.
Daryl earned his reputation through forty-two years of aviation experience as a pilot and owner of several regional carriers during the most significant era of aviation history in the province. That legacy of dedication and hard work continues with his son, President Quentin Smith, intimately involved in all aspects of the aviation business started by their father. A legendary figure in British Columbia aviation, Daryl received numerous awards and accolades from his peers and industry associations alike.
It began in 1987, with the merger of Powell Air and Air BC Port Hardy seaplane operation. The name Pacific Coastal Airlines was chosen from five company names that Air BC owned at the time. “Pasco” was then born, providing floatplane service into the mainland communities and interline with Air BC’s Dash 7 scheduled flights between Vancouver and Port Hardy.
The launch of our daily scheduled twin-engine wheel aircraft service from Port Hardy to Bella Bella and Vancouver started in 1988. This service utilized a seven-passenger Piper Navajo. In 1990, we introduced our first pressurized turboprop aircraft. The Beech King Air was purchased to meet increased demand and improve service levels on the Vancouver and Bella Bella route.
Pacific Coastal’s corporate culture has always had a shared value of giving back to the people and the communities we serve. In 1992, the Pacific Coastal Airlines’ Annual Charity Golf Tournament was launched. Over the years, with the hard work of Pasco volunteers and the generous support of sponsors, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised to support BC-based charities.
We introduced our first 705 aircraft in 1995 – the Shorts 360. This aircraft introduction was to help meet the growing demand on our central coast destinations as well as fishing lodge charter opportunities. In 1998, Pacific Coastal entered a Capacity Purchase Agreement with Canadian Airlines to operate as a “Canadian Partner” by providing service from Vancouver to Nanaimo, Comox, and Campbell River operating on the Shorts 360 aircraft.
In 1999, we introduced the Saab 340A aircraft. Three Saab 340 aircraft were then added to further enhance service levels and to expand Pacific Coastal’s network “reach”. This began the replacement of the Shorts 360 aircraft and lead to the acquisition of a further seven Saab 340 aircraft.
Our Community Sharing program was established in 2016. We support families in need within our network each Christmas and provide gift certificates for utilities, food, warm clothes, household items, and gifts from Santa for the children. This is all been made possible by internal fundraisers by staff.
In 2017, Pacific Coastal Seaplane division obtains an independent Air Operator’s Certificate and rebranded as Wilderness Seaplanes Ltd. Today, as Pacific Coastal’s affiliate airline, Wilderness operates seaplane service to more than fifty coastal communities from bases in Port Hardy on northern Vancouver Island and Bella Bella.
In 2018, Pacific Coastal Airlines enters a Capacity Purchase Agreement (CPA) with WestJet and becomes the operator of WestJet Link. WestJet Link was created to connect smaller cities in British Columbia and Alberta with WestJet’s domestic hub at the Calgary International Airport.
Over the years, Pacific Coastal has provided air travel for Special Olympics BC athletes, coaches, and volunteers to attend events all over BC and help with ongoing fundraising efforts throughout the year. In 2019, we celebrated our 20-year partnership with SOBC and are a proud member of the Special Olympics BC Hall of Fame.
Pacific Coastal Airlines also generously donates space on its flights to transport animals to and from BC SPCA shelters across the province. These flights allow animals to receive urgent medical care and gives animals their best chance of adoption by moving them to shelters in more populated areas.
Today, Pacific Coastal operates a fleet of 19, which includes a mix of Saab 340A and B and Beechcraft 1900C and D. Our network continues to encompass major ski destinations, a multitude of fishing lodges, outdoor and wildlife adventure tours, and authentic Indigenous experiences. As we look back on our history and celebrate our 35-year anniversary, we’re proud to see the growth of Pacific Coastal Airlines. With over 400 employees in British Columbia and Alberta, Pacific Coastal continues to grow and provide essential service, and it all started with a former truck logger with a great passion for aviation.
For our 35th anniversary, we’re not just recognizing how far we’ve come, we’re celebrating what lies ahead, and we’re starting our next chapter by thanking you.
We’re offering 35% off our network for your next trip with us. Use promo code SUPERPROMO22 when booking your next flight for travel between January and March 2023. Terms and conditions apply. Visit our website to book today.
We look forward to welcoming you onboard and thank you for choosing to fly with Pacific Coastal Airlines!
It was a great day! More than one hundred and fifty golfers and sponsors from across British Columbia and Canada, with some from as far away as Dallas, came together to raise a record amount of money for local charities at Pacific Coastal Airlines’ 28th Memorial Charity Golf Tournament on Thursday, May 26. The event was held at Mayfair Lakes Golf and Country Club in Richmond, British Columbia, which has been the host site of the tournament for many years.
The golfers and sponsors, along with a spirited team of Pacific Coastal volunteers, raised ninety thousand dollars after expenses, which will be distributed to B.C.-based charities including the Source Club Society of Powell River, Power To Be, and the Heiltsuk Community Men’s Wellness Group.
The tournament was started in 1992 to raise funds for the Source Club Society of Powell River, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people living with serious & persistent mental health conditions. Its mission is to help adults with mental illness integrate into society, find meaningful employment, and achieve healthy and productive lives.
Since its humble beginnings, the tournament has raised over five hundred thousand dollars for local charities. The second charity, Power To Be, which is based in Victoria and Vancouver, is a non-profit organization that believes everyone belongs in nature. Power To Be began in 1998 with an idea: to help people living with a disability or barrier access nature.
In addition to these two important charities, a third charity representing a different destination served by the airline is added to the list of recipients every year. This year’s third charity, the Heiltsuk Community Men’s Wellness Group, which supports men of all ages to come together to connect and learn to heal through land-based, ancestral teachings.
The annual tournament is a labour of love for Pacific Coastal employees, and their enthusiastic and dedicated commitment to this tournament, and many other community events held across B.C. each year, underscores Pacific Coastal’s corporate culture and a shared value of giving back to the people and the communities we serve.
A big thank you to all our sponsors for supporting the Pacific Coastal Airlines’ 28th Annual Memorial Charity Golf Tournament this year – link
Richmond, BC – Pacific Coastal Airlines will be resuming service between Cranbrook (YXC) and Kelowna (YLW) effective September 12, 2022
“Pacific Coastal Airlines is excited to resume service between Cranbrook and Kelowna. We have received significant customer feedback requesting the return of this 55-minute non-stop flight.” Johnathan Richardson – VP, Customer & Commercial Services | Pacific Coastal Airlines
“I’m once again delighted to see Pacific Coastal Airlines commitment in the east Kootenay air travel market. In 2013, Pacific Coastal Airlines connected the East Kootenay and the Okanagan with direct non-stop air service to Kelowna, essential for health services, tourism and business development. Today’s announcement to resume this service is cause for great celebration.” Tristen Chernove – CEO | Elevate Airports Inc.
“We are so pleased to see this route with Pacific Coastal return between Kelowna and Cranbrook. It is important that we are able to once again provide these regional connections for BC residents.” Sam Samaddar – Airport Director | Kelowna Airport.
The non-stop flight service will operate three days a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, using the 19-passenger pressurized turboprop Beech 1900. The aircraft offers comfortable seating, 6-foot cabin height, and generous cargo capacity.
Cranbrook to Kelowna
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
Kelowna to Cranbrook
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
Tickets are now available for purchase. To book a flight visit pacificcoastal.com, contact our Call Centre at 1-800-663-2872, or speak with your travel agent. Pacific Coastal Airlines is currently offering 10% off flights between Cranbrook and Kelowna with promo codeYXCYLW10. Visit our website for more information.
About Pacific Coastal Airlines Pacific Coastal Airlines is a privately-owned British Columbia based regional airline operating from Vancouver International Airport’s South Terminal (YVR) that currently flies to 18 airports in British Columbia. Connecting to additional destinations along the south coast of British Columbia through its affiliate airline Wilderness Seaplanes, located in Port Hardy on northern Vancouver Island. Pacific Coastal is also the operator of WestJet Link, providing service from its base in Calgary to Cranbrook, Lethbridge, Lloydminster, and Medicine Hat.
Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI) funding will help maintain regional connectivity and jobs
KELOWNA, BC, Feb. 22, 2022 /CNW/ – In a country as large as Canada, air connectivity is critical to the prosperity of all Canadians. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted regional air transportation ecosystems, affecting economies, communities and businesses across the country.
The Government of Canada’s Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI), launched in March 2021, is fostering access to air transportation and supporting regional ecosystems.
Regional air ecosystem to benefit from funding
Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, announced RATI funding of over $18.8 million in federal support for 11 airports and two air carriers in B.C.
Regional airports and carriers provide a vital service, providing commercial flight access, supporting critical supply chains and promoting economic growth. They connect patients to needed medical care and enable essential work travel. They provide important emergency services and cargo operations to supply businesses and frontline workers.
This funding will ensure airports and carriers can continue essential routine maintenance and facility operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will help maintain employment and restore growth in the region as we work to build back from the pandemic.
Regional air transportation is key to the economic development of communities and businesses across Canada. This investment shows the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting economic development across the country and fostering sustainable, inclusive growth for all.
“Air transportation is essential to community well-being and regional economic development. Today’s announcement will not only enhance airport safety and support our essential services but will also create jobs that British Columbians can rely on and bolster regional growth as we recover from the effects of the pandemic.”
– The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada
“It is essential that different levels of government partner to stimulate the economy as we recover from COVID-19. The Kelowna International Airport plays a critical role in supporting economic development in Kelowna and the region.”
– Mayor Basran, City of Kelowna
“Thank you to the federal government for providing funding to these regional airports and airlines in B.C. This funding is critical to maintain and rebuild connectivity throughout Canada.”
– Monette Pasher, Interim President, Canadian Airports Council
“In my role as Airports Council International – North America Chair, I am working with my colleagues across North America as our industry recovers from COVID-19. Investments in aviation, such as the one being made by the federal government today, not only support the recovery of these airports and airlines, but also their surrounding communities.”
– Sam Samaddar, Director, Kelowna International Airport
Projects being funded:
Stikine Airport Society-Dease Lake Airport
Regional District of Alberni-Clayoquot-Tofino / Long Beach Airport
City of Abbotsford-Abbotsford International Airport
Kelowna International Airport
Town of Smithers-Smithers Regional Airport
City of Williams Lake-Williams Lake Regional Airport
Pacific Coastal Airlines Limited
Central Mountain Air Ltd., 580741 British Columbia Ltd.
The City of Castlegar-West Kootenay Regional Airport
The Corporation of the City of Cranbrook-Canadian Rockies International Airport
The Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI) has a national budget of $206 million.
The initiative supports regional air ecosystems—which include regional air carriers and airports, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises and non-profit organizations—in developing and implementing enhanced services for improved regional connectivity.
It is delivered by regional development agencies across Canada, including Pacific Economic Development Canada, the new regional development agency dedicated to British Columbia.
Richmond, BC – Pacific Coastal Airlines has decided to temporarily suspend all network operations on Sunday, January 2 and Monday, January 3 due to the rapid transmission of Omicron COVID-19 variant we are experiencing in our Operational Control Centre. Our teams have exhausted all options and resources before the decision was made to suspend operations for these two days.
“It breaks my heart to be impacting the travel plans of so many customers, yet we are left with no viable alternative at this time,” says Pacific Coastal Airlines’ President Quentin Smith. “We are taking this quick and necessary measure to protect the integrity of our long term schedule and safeguard our operation.”
Pacific Coastal Airlines flights on Saturday, January 1 will operate as scheduled. Scheduled flights will resume on Tuesday, January 4.
Customers impacted by suspended operations on Sunday, January 2 and Monday, January 3 will be provided with opportunity to be rescheduled at a later date or receive a complete refund. Customers can visit our website for further information. Pacific Coastal Airlines apologizes to all customers effected by this service disruption.
The YQQ Ambassadors will be on-site daily, sending off and meeting select flights
Jul. 22, 2021
With the reduction in domestic travel restrictions, the return of Air Canada and the enhanced summer schedules from Pacific Coastal and WestJet, the Comox Valley Airport is bustling with activity.
Thursday, July 15 marked the return of the YQQ Ambassadors, the Comox Valley Airport’s volunteer force, after an absence of nearly 16 months.
“On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic,” said Mike Atkins, CEO of the airport.
“By the end of that week, the ambassador program was suspended, the first of many changes implemented to mitigate risk and ensure the safety of the staff and public. I am extremely pleased to welcome the ambassadors back, not only for the benefit of travellers but also as an indication of a cautious return to leisure travel.”
Alex Robertson, operations manager for YQQ added the program has been in operation since before the current terminal was built.
“… some of our dedicated volunteers have been serving since that time. They provide information and assistance to both arriving and departing passengers, playing a vital role in the passenger experience.”
The YQQ Ambassadors will be on-site daily, sending off and meeting select flights.