Kenmore Air has launched two daily round-trip flights with wheeled aircraft between Victoria International Airport and Washington state, in addition to its float plane service.
Flights first stop in Friday Harbor to clear customs. Then passengers can choose to go to Paine Field in Everett, where they can link up with an Alaska Airlines flight, or travel to Boeing Field and take a 10-minute van to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport or head into downtown Seattle, said company president David Gudgel.
The airline has been a familiar sight in Victoria Harbour, where its float planes take passengers between downtown and Washington state.
Gudgel said while most people know the company for its float planes, it has had a fleet of Cessna Caravans for the last 17 years out of Boeing Field and starting last year, out of Paine Field in Everett. Until now, that service has concentrated on the San Juan Islands.
Rod Hunchak, Victoria International Airport’s director of business development and community relations, said the airport is “thrilled” to welcome Kenmore Air.
The service provides additional opportunity for travellers on both sides of the border “to visit each other’s respective backyards,” he said.
Post-pandemic, Kenmore has seen demand for its float-plane service increasing, Gudgel said. At the same time, Washington State Ferries announced that it wouldn’t be able to operate international service between Friday Harbor and Sidney until at least 2030.
That left an opening in the market. Kenmore decided to make Friday Harbor’s airport a hub for the airline, to connect it to Victoria Airport and Boeing and Paine fields.
“We are pretty excited to offer the only international scheduled service between the [San Juan] islands and Victoria.”
The 5:05 p.m. flight arriving in Victoria on Thursday was expected to be greeted by a water cannon salute to celebrate the start of the service.
Kenmore’s flights are scheduled to depart Victoria International Airport daily at 11:05 a.m. and again at 6:05 p.m.
Flight costs vary, with a Victoria International Airport flight to Friday Harbor running around $109 to $119, and a flight between Victoria airport and Boeing Field priced at up to $219 and $229.
Kenmore has brought chartered aircraft to the Victoria airport previously, but this is its first venture into scheduled wheeled-aircraft service. It is anticipating to operate on a year-round basis, Gudgel said.