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Harbour Air hopes to offer flights in and out of Ucluelet

Company proposes using Whiskey Dock as marine airport for floatplanes.
Harbour Air is planning to offer flights in and out of Ucluelet starting this summer. (Harbour Air photo)

Harbour Air is hoping to start offering air travel services in and out of Ucluelet this summer, using a public dock as a marine airport for its floatplanes.

Jessica Dunn of Harbour Air began a presentation to the town’s municipal council on Feb. 15 by touting the company as “the largest seaplane operator in the Americas.”

“A huge part of our success is due to the beauty of the West Coast experience, which is why we are strongly committed to being an industry leader on sustainable initiatives and mitigating our climate impact,” Dunn said.

She said the company has 470 employees and operates over 280 flights a day, carrying over 400,000 passengers a year in 45 aircrafts in and out of 12 destinations.

“We’re the first airline in the world to fly an electric plane and we are known for our on time performance,” she said. “We’re also positioned to be the first Canadian airline to utilize GPS IFR flying directly to the water runways, which will also support us to be a more reliable airline.”

She said Harbour Air is proposing a “triangle schedule” in and out of Ucluelet expected to begin in the summer of 2024 with four flights a day—Tofino to Ucluelet, Ucluelet to Vancouver, Vancouver to Ucluelet and Ucluelet to Tofino, seven days a week.

“This schedule would allow for quick day trips from Tofino to Ucluelet to bring in those daytime travellers to explore what Ucluelet has to offer,” she said, adding the service would be seasonal from June - October.

She added the benefits to the community would include offering transportation in and out of town during Hwy. 4 closures as well as linking the peninsula with quicker connections.

“Harbour Air will provide an additional way for visitors in Tofino the opportunity to explore Ucluelet in a unique, 10-minute seaplane experience,” she said. “Harbour Air is looking forward to partnering with local businesses and associations to find the best ways to promote Ucluelet as an attractive destination.”

She added flights connecting Ucluelet to Vancouver will provide valuable links to medical appointments, business meetings and leisure trips.

“We’re offering visitors an opportunity to fly directly to Ucluelet, reduce travel time and spend more time in the beautiful place and Harbour Air is investing in critical infrastructure to the community to support Ucluelet as a destination that, in turn, will elevate economic value to the businesses within the community.”

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Andrew Bailey

About the Author: Andrew Bailey

I arrived at the Westerly News as a reporter and photographer in January 2012.
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