Air Canada remains alone flying to the islands

  • Nov. 12, 2003 1:00 p.m.

Air Canada is once again the only way to fly direct and non-stop to Vancouver, after one airline-CWA-stopped serving the islands, and another-Hawkair-decided to postpone its planned service until March.
Canadian Western Airlines, operating between Vancouver and Sandspit and Masset since January flew its last flight from the islands Friday (Nov. 7).
There was no answer at the company’s Masset, Sandspit and Vancouver offices on Monday. At the Vancouver office, a message said “our office is now closed” and suggested callers check the web site. There, a message read “We are sorry, the web site will be down for the next few days. Thank you for your patience while we resolve this issue.”
In another development, Hawkair decided to postpone the start of its Vancouver-Sandspit service until March. The Terrace-based airline had been planning to start service to Sandspit tomorrow (Nov. 14), but now will wait until the busy spring season gets underway before it starts flying the route.
That leaves islanders with two choices to fly south-Air Canada Jazz which operates daily between Sandspit and Vancouver, or TK Air (or Harbour Air) to Prince Rupert, then Hawkair from there to Vancouver.
The situation at Canadian Western was not completely clear as we went to posted this story Wednesday afternoon. A Calgary-based company called Jetcor Ltd. had been planning to buy the airline, but announced Monday that the purchase was off. A Jetcor press release said the company decided not to purchase CWA after Transport Canada suspended its operating licence.
“I am disappointed that we did not get the chance to restructure CWA,” said Jetcor president Haig Davis. “Any value in CWA was lost when its operating licence was suspended.”
A travel agent at Masset Travel said CWA had informed them it would not be flying any more, but left no information about how clients could get ticket refunds. There may be several islanders left holding CWA tickets, as the company had been promoting a discount price for a book of 10 tickets.