Helijet International of Richmond, BC, self-described as the world’s largest scheduled helicopter airline, is adding more scheduled flights between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, effective June 8, 2020.
“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, president and CEO of Helijet.
Sitnam notes Helijet continued to operate over the past few weeks with a reduced flight schedule as an essential service link. This included providing free flights to health-care professionals and community leaders involved in the fight against COVID-19. The effort also allowed Helijet to keep the majority of its own workforce employed.
The number of scheduled Helijet flights between Vancouver and Victoria will increase to five round trips each weekday, up from the current three daily round trips. These additional flights also allow Helijet to offer an earlier start each day.
The first Vancouver-to-Victoria flight will depart at 7:00 am and the first Vancouver-to-Nanaimo flight will leave at 7:10 am. Daily schedules will also end later in the day, with the last flight leaving Nanaimo at 6:00 pm and the last flight from Victoria departing at 6:30 pm.
Helijet has implemented a series of measures to protect the safety of passengers and crew, which includes limiting the maximum number of passengers in all aircraft to six, instead of the usual 12. The operation has also been sanitizing aircraft cabins before each flight, as well as disinfecting high touch areas within the cabin and cockpit.
Helijet has also implemented a detailed disinfection regime for all aircraft at the end of every day, in addition to deeper cleaning of terminal facilities, washrooms and offices on a more frequent basis. Its complimentary food and beverage service at terminals consists of grab-and-go pre-packaged foods and beverages only.
In adherence with Government of Canada COVID-19 travel restrictions, prior to being allowed to board a Helijet flight, all passengers are subject to a Health Check – specific questions relating to symptoms they may have and whether they are under a mandatory Public Health quarantine.
All air passengers must also have a removable, non-medical mask or face covering to cover their mouth and nose during travel. At check-in, passengers on all flights are required to demonstrate they have the necessary non-medical mask or face covering to be worn for the duration of the flight.