By Heather Ramsay–Not long after islanders watched the last Hawk Air flight take off, another airline is ready to put out the landing gear, and this time it plans to touch down in both Sandspit and Masset.
WestEx, a Vancouver-based company, is proposing to start a combination of passenger and cargo service on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays from Vancouver in to the islands.
“The idea is to alleviate the backlog of cargo that is getting bumped,” says Glenn Dickinson, manager of airline and charter sales.
After conversations with local cargo customers, Mr. Dickinson determined there is a need. His planes will offer space for nine passengers and a guaranteed 2,000 pounds of cargo. “That way we are not bumping cargo for passengers.”
Mr. Dickinson also wants to offer a service direct to and from Masset. “It’s needed. Seventy percent of the population lives on the other side of the pond from Sandspit and they have to take the ferry to travel,” he said.
If the ferry doesn’t go, the plane won’t wait, he says. Mr. Dickinson hopes to be able to expand to daily service to Masset in the future.
The proposed flights would depart Vancouver at 9:45 am and arrive in Sandspit at 11:30. At 12:15 pm, a 15-minute flight would take passengers to Masset and the plane would depart from there back to Vancouver at 1:15 pm.
The price will start at $249 one-way from Masset or Sandspit to Vancouver. If all goes as planned, Dickinson says they are hoping to have the service up and running by November 1.
“We need the support of local residents to make this work. I know it is tough there in the winter time with a lack of service” he said.
WestEx offers passenger charter service and cargo flights in BC and Alberta and also operates the Air Ambulance service.
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