A new airline is here to give Air Canada a run for its money.
Terrace-based Hawkair has expanded service to include a daily nonstop trip from Sandspit to Vancouver.
Although the Dash-8 planes have only been making the trip since last week, Darryl Tucker at Hawkair headquarters said that they are already “picking up a lot of freight,” because of the ferry problems. Mr. Tucker said that although he is optimistic about the new route’s success, they are waiting “to see the response,” because the islands are a “tough market” due to the low population. “There are rumours that we’re just in it for the tourist season, and then we’ll pull out,” said Mr. Tucker, who hopes the word will get out that there is an alternative to Air Canada.
“After running planes to Prince Rupert last year with decent loads, this year we decided to amalgamate Sandspit into the schedule,” he said. He described the “tricky” logistics of creating a schedule that works with both ferries. “But it’s a good schedule – it works well,” he said. The current schedule includes a daily round trip non-stop to Vancouver, and an afternoon flight with a Prince Rupert stopover.
Prices are currently running at about $215 one way, but because of the rapidly increasing price of gas, we “have to take a look at an increase of $7.00,” said Mr. Tucker, and possibly as soon as the end of the week.
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