Harbour Air was founded in British Columbia in 1982. With two small Dehavilland Beaver seaplanes and a plan to service the forest industry, Harbour Air began by offering private charters to log buyers visiting the coast. With growing success and an increasing demand on both commuting and touring service, the company quickly expanded over the years adding daily, frequently scheduled flights between Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, the Sunshine Coast and Whistler.
Today, after 35 years in business and more than 40 aircraft, the Harbour Air Group consisting of Harbour Air Seaplanes, Whistler Air and Saltspring Air has become one of the largest all-seaplane airlines in the world. With an ongoing focus on Safety, Service, Innovation and the Environment, Harbour Air services an average of 400,000 passenger per year and is now considered a vital transportation link along coastal British Columbia. Harbour Air’s showcase fleet of Canadian built DeHavilland Beaver, Single Otter and Twin Otter aircraft are envied worldwide for their history, craftmanship, safety record and workload capability. In Spring 2018, Harbour Air will also add a new Cessna Caravan EX to its fleet to service potential new routes to downtown Seattle and Tofino. In addition to this new aircraft type joining the Harbour Air fleet, the Caravan EX will be unique to the world as it will be the first one ever to operate solely on floats. Another first for the airline that continues to lead the industry.
Although passengers are a large component of the Harbour Air business model, due to all the reasons that it is advantageous for people to get around, it is also a widely popular option for getting freight shipped quickly, conveniently and inexpensively throughout the coast and specifically to more remote areas where the traditional mail carriers have a difficult time accessing. This service has proven to be a literal lifesaver to hundreds of people and business’ over the years. Whether it’s medication to a remote village, time sensitive legal documents or a sick pet, Harbour Air transports millions of pounds of freight every year on all of its scheduled flights as well as using dedicated charter aircraft for larger contractual freight shipments. With dedicated freight desks at all of the larger terminals as well as an invoice tracking system company wide, all shipments with Harbour Air are manifested to ensure that they are quickly and easily accessible, making the service most popular amongst couriers, legal firms and medical transportation companies.
The Harbour Air flight operations schedule fluctuates seasonally due to their regulation to operate in daylight only. This means a more condensed schedule in the winter months and a longer, more expansive schedule throughout the summer months. Despite this, Harbour Air employs 400+ full time year round employees and operates over 30,000 flights yearly to all of its destinations. Freight services are available on all aircraft, all routes and, when in flight, are the direct responsibility of all aircrew. Aircrew receive specialized training on freight shipment policies to ensure that parcels being shipped by Harbour Air are handled with care throughout their transport.
Amongst other accolades, Harbour Air is recognized as a platinum member of Canada’s Best Managed Companies, a recipient of the Cumberbatch Award for Safety by the Air Navigators Guild, a Canadian Signature Experience, a Business of the Year in Victoria and a National Recipient of the Visa Canada Experience of the Year Award.
On behalf of everyone at Harbour Air, we look forward to continuing to work hard to ensure that we deliver on our promise of safety, service, integrity and value to all of our customers and guests.