Pacific Seaplanes touches down in Alberni

Pacific Seaplanes successfully landed their first plane at Centennial Pier earlier today (Jan 28).

Pacific Seaplanes CEO Randy Hanna touches down after his company's successful initial landing at Centennial Pier on Jan. 28.

Pacific Seaplanes CEO Randy Hanna touches down after his company's successful initial landing at Centennial Pier on Jan. 28.

Pacific Seaplanes successfully landed their first plane at Centennial Pier earlier today (Jan 28). The company announced that they would be offering scheduled seaplane service to Port Alberni from Vancouver earlier this month.

CEO Randy Hanna said that the decision to offer service to Port Alberni was easy to make after their experience flying to Bamfield.

“Port Alberni, the undiscovered jewel on the west coast and underserved for all these years,” said Hanna. “We have a service that started in 2015 from Vancouver and Nanaimo out to Bamfield and the West Coast and it’s just such a beautiful place. Every time I flew by Alberni and looked down, I went ‘something’s missing.'”

Pacific Seaplanes did a few charter flights last fall and Hanna said the response was overwhelming.

“We were literally mobbed on the dock, people were asking for tours and could we fly here or could we fly there. We said absolutely, went home and had a huddle about it, made the enquiries about it ad discovered the community had been searching for an air service and we were only too happy to comply.”

Pacific Seaplanes will initially offer one flight from Vancouver to Port Alberni (arrivingi at 11:35 a.m.) and one flight to Vancouver (departing at 2:30 p.m.). Flight duration is approximately 30-35 minutes and is weather-dependent, said Hanna. Flights will cost $199, taxes and fees included.

Currently, Pacific Seaplanes will offer the daily flights on their Cessna 180 four-seater but hope to offer flights more often on bigger airplanes by April 1, 2016. While currently the planes will land at Centennial Pier, they may switch over to the Port Alberni Port Authority’s new Somass fuel dock later.

Port authority director of public relations and business development Dave McCormick said that they hope to have Pacific Seaplanes fueling at their Somass fuel dock by the end of May 2016.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

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