Comox Valley Airport CEO cautiously optimistic about summer

From Comox Valley Record – link to source story – Thanks to CW

Airlines, increased schedule returns to the Comox Valley Airport

ERIN HALUSCHAK | Jun. 10, 2021

The Comox Valley Airport is hoping travel may increase this summer as passengers become more comfortable flying again. File photo

The Comox Valley Airport is hoping travel may increase this summer as passengers become more comfortable flying again. File photo

Looking ahead at the summer, Mike Atkins is cautiously optimistic.

He knows there is pent-up demand for travel, but understands there needs to be a level of comfort and safety for passengers with pandemic and post-pandemic travel, particularly in aviation.

Atkins is the chief executive officer of the Comox Valley Airport (YQQ), a role he took over in the midst of the pandemic in October 2020. While he is relatively new at the position, as the former 19 Wing commander, he understands not only the Comox Valley but the aviation industry as well.

As with other airports across the country and world, passenger numbers have plummeted throughout the past year, but he is hopeful some signals from airlines operating out of the airport indicate signs of recovery to the hard-hit industry.

“Starting at the end of the month, all airlines (from YQQ) have a very aggressive schedule,” he noted. “We’ll go from very little to having four airplanes remaining overnight.”

Atkins said as a whole, the airport was always able to remain fully staffed since the start of the pandemic, thanks to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit which assisted in covering more than $700,000 in wages. They also received funding from the provincial government for ongoing operational costs and have applied for funding through the Regional Air Transportation Initiative, a $206-million federal government program to aid in the return in services in regional air transportation.

At the start of the pandemic, YQQ lost services from Air Canada; Pacific Coastal Airlines paused their operations to and from the airport to Vancouver for about a month and while WestJet reduced their flight frequency, they did not pause their service and continue to service the airport.

“(At the end of the month) Pacific Coastal will offer three flights daily, WestJet will fly to Calgary twice a day and will have a direct to Edmonton flight, along with WestJet link (to Vancouver) and a direct flight to Toronto. Right now, Air Canada will fly three days a week, and that may change to daily service,” said Atkins.

In terms of the return of the Comox to Puerto Vallarta direct flight in the fall, Atkins noted there is still uncertainly around international travel as he is unsure what government regulations may be in place by then.

“We are always looking at new routes and opportunities,” he added.

With hopes of travellers returning, one of the main projects currently underway at the terminal building is the relocation of the pre-board screening area. Atkins explained the goal is to increase the distance between passengers in addition to the holding room, particularly when there are multiple flights arriving and departing.

On June 23, the Comox Valley Airport will host their virtual annual general meeting at 3 p.m. For more information, visit comoxairport.com.

PG Airport Authority looks ahead as Q1 numbers drop as expected

From CKPG Today – link to source story

by Caden Fanshaw, Apr 15, 2021

CKPG File Image

PRINCE GEORGE – Passengers are still boarding, and flights are still taking off, but the numbers from the first quarter are “as expected”, down 78% from a year ago.

CEO of the Prince George Airport Authority, Gordon Duke says there is reason to be optimistic when looking ahead to the future.

“We’re happy to see Central Mountain Air expanding their routes, Pacific Coastal increasing frequency, Westjet announcing a route to Abbotsford a new destination coming out of this. I think as we see more vaccines go into arms, we will see more domestic travel coming out of this,” says Duke.

The drop off in traffic has created budget challenges for the Prince George Airport Authority, but provincial funding of $720,000 will help in the short term, paying for maintenance, and other fixed costs that can’t be adjusted.

Although passenger traffic continues to struggle, the importance of the airport for more than just commercial flights continues to shine according to Duke.

With the third-longest runway in North America, YXS continues to offer a hub for COVID-19 vaccine delivery, along with a base for wildfire tankers in the summer months.

The airport saw 7,831 passengers in January, 6,834 passengers in February, and 7,939 passengers in March.

Pacific Coastal Airlines’s Trail Base Celebrates 15-Year Anniversary

April 6th, 2021

Pacific Coastal Airlines is proud to celebrate 15 years of service to the Trail Regional Airport on Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

“We’ve enjoyed serving the residents of the West Kootenay region over the past 15 years and look forward to many more to come,” says Pacific Coastal’s Vice President of Commercial Services Johnathan Richardson. “We’re proud to be part of the community.”

Our service operates non-stop flights between Vancouver South Terminal Airport and Trail Regional Airport six days a week currently. To celebrate our 15-year anniversary in Trail, we are sharing local places to check out for your future visits to Trail!

COLUMBIA GARDENS VINEYARD AND WINERY
Columbia Gardens Vineyard and Winery Estate is nestled in the heart of the Columbia Gardens Valley near the Trail Regional Airport. Check out the Burl tasting room that features all their wines and thoughtful gifts.

TRAIL BEER REFINERY

A name that reflects Trail’s historic connection to mining, refining, and smelting, this brewery has a strong community focus and a great selection of craft beer. You can find Trail Beer Refinery downtown on Bay Avenue.

TRAIL COFFEE CO
A local cafe, serving breakfast, lunch, and freshly roasted coffee. Hand roasted, hand-blended, & hand packaged, the Trail Coffee Co. team works hard to create your perfect cup of joe.

COLUMBIA RIVER SKYWALK

This bridge is part of the Trans Canada Trail’s Society’s Great Trail and is bike, stroller, scooter, and wheelchair friendly. Once across continue along the banks of the Columbia River to the Victoria Street Bridge and complete this quick and easy river walk loop.

RED RESORT
Trail is just minutes from world-class skiing at Red Resort in Rossland BC. Outdoor lovers will also find a vast network of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and mountain biking trails in the area.

Committed to Ensuring a Safe Journey

Pacific Coastal Airlines has adopted additional safety measures to ensure the health and wellbeing of staff and customers. The measures include enhanced aircraft sanitation practices, physical distancing at airport facilities, reduced contact points, and the requirement for all customers to travel with a face mask and answer health check questions before boarding. Learn more about the additional safety measures online.

Pacific Coastal Airlines Announces New Service to Kamloops

January 20th, 2021

Richmond, BC – Pacific Coastal Airlines is pleased to announce a new non-stop service between Vancouver International Airport South Terminal (YVR) and Kamloops Airport (YKA) effective Tuesday, February 9, 2021.

Beech 1900D Aircraft (Courtesy of Pacific Coastal Airlines)

The 50-minute flight will operate 6 days a week between Vancouver and Kamloops. Flights will be offered Sunday to Friday on the 19-passenger pressurized turboprop Beech 1900D aircraft. The 1900D offers comfortable seating, 6-foot cabin height, and generous cargo capacity.

Customers can also benefit from convenient connecting flight options to reach other communities in British Columbia such as Victoria, B.C.

RouteFrequencyFlight #DepartingArrivingEffective
Vancouver to KamloopsSunday to Friday#12052:35 p.m.3:25 p.m.February 9, 2021
Kamloops to VancouverSunday to Friday#12063:55 p.m.4:45 p.m.February 9, 2021

“We want to ensure that the community of Kamloops maintains air service to Vancouver to support the movement of essential workers, time-sensitive cargo, and assist those travelling for medical appointments at this time,” said Johnathan Richardson, Vice President of Commercial Services. “Pacific Coastal Airlines is proud to expand the destinations we serve in the Thompson Okanagan region and we will deliver reliable, convenient, and affordable flights that customers value.”

“Kamloops Airport is pleased to welcome Pacific Coastal Airlines to our airport and our community. Passengers using this important Kamloops-Vancouver service can expect a safe and healthy experience both at the airport and on board with this valued airline partner,” said Ed Ratuski, Managing Director, Kamloops Airport.

“We are delighted that Pacific Coastal Airlines will become our newest service partner at YKA.  I encourage local residents to make use of this important connection to Vancouver for all their essential travel needs during this pandemic period and beyond,” said Mayor Ken Christian.

Introductory fares are now on sale as low as $150 one-way, per passenger (inclusive of fees, surcharges, and tax). To book this new service visit www.pacificcoastal.com or speak to your travel agent.

Pacific Coastal Airlines offers air cargo service to 17 destinations throughout their network to transport time-sensitive cargo. With various levels of shipping priority, they offer shipping solutions tailored to customer requirements at competitive rates.

Pacific Coastal Airlines has also adopted additional safety measures to ensure the health and wellbeing of staff and customers. The measures include enhanced aircraft sanitation practices, physical distancing at airport facilities, reduced contact points, and the requirement for all customers to travel with a face mask and answer health check questions before boarding. Learn more about the additional safety measures online.

Penticton Schedule Update

January 6th, 2021

Richmond, BC – Pacific Coastal Airlines has revised the schedule offering for the new non-stop service between Vancouver International Airport South Terminal (YVR) and Penticton Regional Airport (YYF). Due to currently low demand, Tuesday and Thursday flight service has been removed between January 14 and February 25, 2021, inclusive.

The revised schedule will be as follows:

  • Monday & Wednesday
    • Vancouver 10:40 am to Penticton 11:30 am
    • Penticton 12:00 noon to Vancouver 12:50 pm
  • Friday & Sunday
  • Vancouver 2:45pm to Penticton 3:35 pm
  • Penticton 4:05 pm to Vancouver 4:55 pm

Pacific Coastal Airlines new service to Penticton Regional Airport (YYF) begins on Monday, January 11, 2021. Introductory fares are now on sale as low as $150 one-way, per passenger (inclusive of fees, surcharges and tax). To book this new service visit www.pacificcoastal.com or speak to your travel agent.

Pacific Coastal Airlines has also adopted additional safety measures to ensure the health and wellbeing of staff and customers. The measures include enhanced aircraft sanitation practices, physical distancing at airport facilities, reduced contact points and the requirement for all customers to travel with a face mask and answer health check questions before boarding. Learn more about the additional safety measures online.

Pacific Coastal Airlines Announces New Service to Penticton

December 11th, 2020

Richmond, BC – Pacific Coastal Airlines is pleased to announce a new non-stop service between Vancouver International Airport South Terminal (YVR) and Penticton Regional Airport (YYF) effective Monday, January 11, 2021.

The 50-minute flight will be a major support for essential service workers seeking a quick, convenient, and affordable travel option between the lower mainland and the interior communities.

The service will operate 6 days a week between Vancouver and Penticton. Flights will be offered Sunday to Friday on the 19 passenger pressurized turboprop Beech 1900D aircraft. The 1900D offers comfortable seating, 6-foot cabin height, generous cargo capacity, and is designed to operate in all weather conditions.

Route Frequency Departing Arriving Effective

  • Vancouver to Penticton Monday – Thursday 10:40 a.m. 11:30 a.m. January 11, 2021
  • Penticton to Vancouver Monday – Thursday 12:00 p.m. 12:50 p.m. January 11, 2021
  • Vancouver to Penticton Friday & Sunday 2:45 p.m. 3:35 p.m. January 11, 2021
  • Penticton to Vancouver Friday & Sunday 4:05 p.m. 4:55 p.m. January 11, 2021

“Despite the challenging year we have had, Pacific Coastal Airlines remains committed to offering safe, reliable and convenient flight service throughout British Columbia,” said Johnathan Richardson, Vice President of Commercial Services. “We have been discussing the opportunity of expanding our network in the Okanagan and are pleased to announce that we will be starting service between Vancouver and Penticton in January.”

Residents and officials within the Penticton Region and surrounding area are supportive of the new service. “I’m sure I speak for all residents and travellers who rely on scheduled access to air travel, we couldn’t be happier to receive this news,” said Penticton Mayor, John Vassilaki.  “Regular flights at our airport are critical to ensuring it stays top-of-mind as an active and viable travelling option to and from our City. The arrival of Pacific Coastal Airlines passenger services will not only help fill the void recently created by the departure of Air Canada, I’m also confident this popular carrier will quickly build a loyal following of travellers who will embrace flights to Vancouver and the convenience they offer.”

“The Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce is delighted to hear that Pacific Coastal Airlines will be providing six flights a week between Penticton and Vancouver starting January 11,” said Nicole Clark, Chamber President. “This commitment is a boon for our business community and the entire region. We welcome this news and encourage everyone to support this airline when flying to and from Vancouver.”

Travel Penticton welcomes Pacific Coastal Airlines to Penticton! “We are very excited to have this service to Vancouver start in January,” stated Thom Tischik, Executive Director. “The connection from Penticton to Vancouver is important for both our visitors and residents of Penticton and the South Okanagan for recreational and business travel. The daily weekday and Sunday flights will become very popular over the coming months and will be a definite asset to Penticton and area.”

Introductory fares are now on sale as low as $150 one-way, per passenger (inclusive of fees, surcharges and tax). To book this new service visit www.pacificcoastal.com or speak to your travel agent.

Pacific Coastal Airlines has also adopted additional safety measures to ensure the health and wellbeing of staff and customers. The measures include enhanced aircraft sanitation practices, physical distancing at airport facilities, reduced contact points and the requirement for all customers to travel with a face mask and answer health check questions before boarding. Learn more about the additional safety measures online.

Pacific Coastal Airlines Introduces Seat Selection

November 30th, 2020

Richmond, BC – Pacific Coastal Airlines introduces new seat selection for scheduled flights within the Pacific Coastal Airlines network, effective November 30, 2020.

“It has been a long time goal to introduce seat selection at Pacific Coastal Airlines,” said Pacific Coastal Vice President of Commercial Services, Johnathan Richardson. “We believe that customers will value the option to choose their preferred seat on our aircraft.”

The seat selection option will be available for customers during the online booking process. Customers may also select a seat after their reservation has been made by going online or by contacting our Call Centre. Seat selection will be complimentary to customers travelling on Encore Fares and QuikPass Encore. Customers travelling on all other fares will have the option to select their seat in advance for $5.00 per passenger, per flight. Seat selection is available for all customers choosing available seats within 24 hours of departure during online check-in or check-in at one of our airport counters.

Pacific Coastal Airlines has also adopted additional safety measures to ensure the health and wellbeing of staff and customers. The measures include enhanced aircraft sanitation practices, physical distancing at airport facilities, reduced contact points, and the requirement for all customers to travel with a face mask and answer health check questions before boarding. Learn more about the additional safety measures online.

Pacific Coastal Airlines Resumes Vancouver – Masset Service

October 5th, 2020

Richmond, BC – Pacific Coastal Airlines will be resuming non-stop service between Vancouver International Airport South Terminal (YVR) and Masset (ZMT) on Thursday, October 29.

“We appreciate and respect the approach that the leaders of the Haida Nation have taken as a result of the pandemic and am now looking forward to reinitiating scheduled air service in support of the residents of the Haida Gwaii,” said Pacific Coastal Airlines President, Quentin Smith.

“Carefully resuming air service to Haida Gwaii is important for the overall health and well being of island residents,” said Gaagwiis Jason Alsop, President of the Haida Nation. “Haawa to Pacific Coastal Airlines for respecting and supporting Haida Gwaii’s pandemic response.”

“The village of Masset is pleased to welcome Pacific Coastal Airlines back to the Masset Airport,” says Mayor Barry Pages of Village of Masset. “Their service is important to island residents for accessing medical travel, the delivery of essential services and freight, and is an important part of the Haida Gwaii restart plan.”

Non-stop flight service will operate two days a week between Vancouver and Masset on Sunday and Thursday. Flights will be operated on Saab 340B aircraft with onboard washroom.

RouteFrequencyDepartingArrivingEffective
Vancouver to MassetSunday & Thursday9:30 a.m.11:50 a.m.October 29, 2020
Masset to VancouverSunday & Thursday12:30 p.m.2:50 p.m.October 29, 2020

Pacific Coastal Airlines has also adopted additional safety measures to ensure the health and wellbeing of staff and customers. The measures include enhanced aircraft sanitation practices, physical distancing at airport facilities, reduced contact points, and the requirement for all customers to travel with a face mask and answer health check questions before boarding. Learn more about the additional safety measures online.  

To book a flight visit www.pacificcoastal.com, contact our Call Centre at 1-800-663-2872, or speak with your travel agent. Tickets are now available for purchase.

Pacific Coastal Airlines Resumes Non-Stop Victoria-Prince George Service

September 1st, 2020

Richmond, BC – Pacific Coastal Airlines will be resuming non-stop service between Victoria International Airport (YYJ) and Prince George Airport (YXS) on Sunday, October 4, 2020.

“Prince George is the gateway airport to the northern communities of British Columbia and we are excited to be re-establishing the direct link with our provincial capital after suspending service in late March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Pacific Coastal Airlines President, Quentin Smith. “We are resuming service with three weekly flights and will gradually add more flights as demand returns.”

“We look forward to having Pacific Coastal Airlines return to our market. They offer an essential economic link between Northern BC’s Capital and British Columbia’s Capital City,” says President and CEO of Prince George Airport Authority, Gordon Duke. “Pacific Coastal Airlines has proven to be a great partner and we look forward to continuing to build upon an already solid foundation. We believe there is a pent-up demand for travel within our province and Victoria is an amazing place to visit.”

“As our economy gradually reopens we are pleased to see Pacific Coastal Airlines re-starting Victoria-Prince George service. YYJ appreciates the longstanding relationship it has had with Pacific Coastal and looks forward to these two important markets being connected with non-stop service once again,” said Geoff Dickson President and CEO Victoria International Airport.

RouteFrequencyDepartingArrivingEffective
Victoria to Prince GeorgeSunday, Wednesday & Friday11:00 a.m.12:40 p.m.October 4, 2020
Prince George to VictoriaSunday, Wednesday & Friday1:55 p.m.3:35 p.m.October 4, 2020

Pacific Coastal Airlines has also adopted additional safety measures to ensure the health and wellbeing of staff and customers. The measures include enhanced aircraft sanitation practices, physical distancing at airport facilities, reduced contact points and the requirement for all customers to travel with a face mask and answer health check questions before boarding. To learn more about the additional safety measures visit their website.

To book a flight visit www.pacificcoastal.com, contact our Call Centre at 1-800-663-2872, or speak with your travel agent. Tickets are now available for purchase.

Pacific Coastal Airline Return to Service

From Pacific Coastal Airlines | 2 June 2020

Gradual Return to Service

Scheduled Flights 

As we continue to see reduced demand for air travel, we’ve published adjusted schedules with reduced capacity and frequency. Customers can view the details of our adjusted scheduled service below:

We will continue to monitor demand throughout our network and continue to publish schedule changes in advance of travel in an effort to provide customers with a reliable schedule to book with confidence and make travel plans accordingly.

We are also offering customers who have booked on or before May 2, 2020 for travel anytime to allow changes to their reservation without penalty (changes to reservations must be made at least 72 hours prior to scheduled departure time). To learn more, click here.

Cargo Service 

Starting June 1, 2020 we will be offering cargo service to the following destinations in our network:

  • Vancouver
  • Victoria
  • Powell River
  • Trail
  • Williams Lake
  • Cranbrook
  • Comox
  • Campbell River
  • Port Hardy
  • Tofino

To learn more about our cargo rates and service levels click here.

Private Charter Service 

We continue to offer private charter services throughout British Columbia to move passengers and goods. To inquire about rates and service click here.

Effective Wednesday, March 25, 2020, the South Terminal Shuttle service is suspended until further notice. For more information please visit YVR’s website.