Helijet is getting ready to add more flights between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.
Starting Monday, June 8, the Richmond-based company will be increasing the number of scheduled flights between Vancouver and Victoria to five roundtrips each weekday, up from the current three.
Scheduled flights between Vancouver and Nanaimo will also double to four roundtrips each weekday.
“With businesses gradually reopening, and the provincial government planning to resume sitting later this month, we’re preparing to support additional travel demand for our flights to and from Vancouver Island,” said Danny Sitnam, Helijet’s president and CEO in a release.
“Although the entire air travel industry has been severely impacted by COVID-19, we pledged to keep operating with a reduced flight schedule as an essential service link to safely serve our communities, our dedicated guests and to keep the majority of our workforce employed.”
Sitnam said the company is now in a “stronger position” to increase service, as passenger numbers are expected to increase.
The additional flights will also allow Helijet to offer earlier flights each day, with the first Vancouver-to-Victoria flight departing at 7 a.m. and the first Vancouver-to-Nanaimo flight at 7:10 a.m.
Daily schedules will also end later in the day, according to the company, with the last flight leaving Nanaimo at 6 p.m., while the last flight from Victoria will leave at 6:30 p.m.
Helijet has also taken measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19, including:
- Limiting the maximum number of passengers in all aircraft to six, instead of the usual 12, in order to help with physical distancing;
- Sanitizing aircraft cabins before each flight, as well as disinfecting high-touch surfaces within the cabin and cockpit;
- Providing a detailed disinfection regime for all aircraft at the end of each day, to ensure that no contaminants remain for passengers who board the aircraft next;
- Making hand sanitizer available to all travelers and staff at each terminal;
- Deeper cleaning of terminal facilities, washrooms and offices on a more frequent basis;
- Complimentary food and beverage service at terminals consists of grab-and-go pre-packaged foods and beverages only.
Passengers must also undergo a health check prior to boarding a flight, in line with the federal government’s travel restrictions, according to the company, and have a non-medical mask or face covering to wear during travel.