HARBOUR AIR & COVID-19
The same as other transportation and tourism-related businesses, Vancouver’s seaplane company has been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
On March 26th Harbour Air announced that it was suspending all regularly scheduled flights as of March 28th, 2020. The company did this as a direct result of the COVID-19 virus outbreak and its impact on tourism, the demand for flights and concerns about the health of both its staff and passengers.
On April 6th Harbour Air announced that it would be resuming a limited number of passenger flights between Vancouver and Nanaimo, but only for that route.
On April 15th, 2020, the seaplane company announced that it would be offering a limited number of flights once again between Vancouver and Victoria for essential travel starting as of April 19th.
As of late April a number of other precautionary measures have been implemented. All passengers must now sign a form declaring that they don’t have symptoms of COVID-19. Travellers are also given a pair of gloves and a face mask to wear during the flight. Both passengers and airline staff are having their temperatures taken with a special a no-contact thermometer. Cleaning practices have understandably been stepped up, and only 40% or so of seats are currently available for sale.
To learn more about the status of services of BC’s main passenger seaplane company, see the Harbour Air website.
For a list of Lower Mainland events and attractions that have also been impacted, and to learn more about the virus in general and the government’s response, see our article about Vancouver Event Cancellations & COVID-19.
Harbour Air Float Planes
North America’s first carbon neutral air carrier and the world’s largest all seaplane airline, Harbour Air offers short-haul flights departing from both downtown Vancouver and YVR Airport; Nanaimo, Victoria, and Comox all on Vancouver Island; the Gulf Islands; and Whistler, Sechelt and Pitt Meadows in the Lower Mainland.
Not only is Harbour Air a fast and convenient way to get around, especially between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, but it is also a spectacular attraction in itself. Fly on a sunny day and get a window seat and you’ll find the views from the plane to be some of the best in the world.
Tips and Advice
Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most out of your seaplane-flying experience.
TIP #1: Get to your flight early on a sunny day so you can get a window seat, and don’t forget your camera. Unless you pay an extra $10 or so at check-in, seat selection is on a first-to-board, first-to-pick basis.
TIP #2: Ask at the desk which side of the plane to sit on for the best views and photo opportunities. Views of Victoria are usually best from the right side of the plane when flying from Vancouver to BC’s capital city, and on the left when flying the other way, although that can vary. Views of Vancouver can be best from the left or right side, depending on where the winds are blowing and the pilot’s probable approach.
TIP #3: Harbour Air offers special discounts periodically. If you plan to fly frequently and don’t mind the e-mails, sign up for their discount notification e-mails. Wednesdays are when they usually post their sales.
TIP #4: If you’ve never flown on Harbour Air before ask if they offer a “first time” discount. They used to offer 50% off and maybe they still do!
TIP #5: Students with valid ID can often fly standby for about half price.
For views of Vancouver from a Harbour Air seaplane, check out our Vancouver Aerial Views.
For more information, see the Harbour Air website.