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New seaplane company to connect Greater Victoria and San Juan Island

Service operated by Kenmore Air to start in May and could also provide connections to Tacoma
Kenmore Air’s de Havilland Otter seaplane in Victoria this past December. Photo courtesy Kenmore Air

Victoria residents will see some new seaplanes landing in the harbour this summer as Kenmore Air is adding service between the San Juan Island’s Friday Harbor Marina and Victoria’s Inner Harbor beginning in May.

“We are thrilled to offer another convenient and scenic connection between two iconic destinations in the Pacific Northwest,” said Kenmore President David Gudgel in a news release.

It will now provide the opportunity for sea plane connections between Tacoma and Victoria through San Juan Island — the Tacoma route is new as well and will also start in May — with a several hour layover on San Juan Island.

This adds to Kenmore’s existing routes between Washington and Victoria on regular wheeled planes.

It also adds to the already increasing sea plane traffic into the Inner Harbour, according to Destination Greater Victoria CEO Paul Nursey.

“Seaplanes are an important transportation network that support Greater Victoria’s visitor economy,” Nursey said in an email to the Victoria News. “Over the years we have seen growth in terms of increased frequency of flights and the development of new routes”

He added that Washington state is a major source of visitors to Victoria, with about one-third of all area visitors being from the US and 40 per cent of those from Washington.

The new flights will run twice daily starting on May 16, and will operate through Nov. 1. Flights between San Juan Island and Victoria should take 30 minutes.

Depending on whether they are flying with a de Havilland Otter or Beaver seaplane, each flight will fit five-to-10 passengers.

Kenmore’s Scott Meis said in an email that the flights are geared both to the tourist crowd and people looking for a faster and more scenic way to get between Victoria and the Seattle area.

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About the Author: Mark Page

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