Pacific Coastal Airlines

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Pacific Coastal Airlines Ltd.
IATA ICAO Callsign
HubsCalgary International Airport
Vancouver International Airport
Port Hardy Airport
Fleet size28[1]
HeadquartersVancouver International Airport
Richmond, British Columbia
Key peopleSmith family
WebsitePacific Coastal Airlines

Pacific Coastal Airlines Ltd is a Canadian airline that operates scheduled, charter and cargo services to destinations in British Columbia. Its head office is located in the South Terminal of Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, British Columbia.[3] Its main base is Vancouver International Airport, with a hub at Port Hardy Airport.


Grumman G-21 Goose of Pacific Coastal Airlines now operated by new Seaplane Division Wilderness Seaplanes Ltd. at Vancouver Airport in 2008

The original Pacific Coastal Airlines was established in the 1960s, operating from its base at Cassidy Airport, now Nanaimo Airport, near Nanaimo.[4] In early 1980, the airline was acquired by Jim Pattison Industries and absorbed into Airwest Airlines, also recently acquired by Pattison.[5] At the time of the acquisition, Pacific Coastal was operating on the Nanaimo-Vancouver, Victoria-Nanaimo-Comox-Campbell River-Port Hardy, and Nanaimo-Qualicum-Port Alberni routes.[6] On November 1, 1980, Airwest and several other local airlines recently acquired by Pattison were merged into Air BC.[7]

The current Pacific Coastal Airlines was established in 1987 by the merger of Powell Air and the Port Hardy division of Air BC.[8] It acquired the shares and assets of Wilderness Airlines on April 1, 1998. As of 2015, it has over 300 employees.[9]

A new airline division Wilderness Seaplanes which started service on May 5, 2016 was established to take over the Pacific Coastal Airlines Seaplane Division and is Based at Port Hardy and Bella Bella.[10]

On November 24th 2017, Westjet and Pacific Coastal announced an agreement to operate Saab 340 aircraft under the new WestJet Link brand commencing in June 2018. These aircraft are based at the Calgary International Airport hub, and serve destinations such as Lethbridge, Prince George and Lloydminster.


A Pacific Coastal Airlines Shorts 360 on the ground at Bella Bella, British Columbia

Pacific Coastal Airlines operates services to the following destinations in British Columbia:[2]


A Beechcraft 1900C, flown by Pacific Coastal Airlines, landing at Vancouver International Airport

As of November 2017, the Pacific Coastal Airlines fleet consisted of 22 aircraft, plus 6 registered to Wilderness Seaplanes:[1]

Pacific Coastal Airlines
Aircraft Count Variants Notes
Beechcraft 1900 12 1900C, 1900D 19 passengers, based in Vancouver
Cessna 185 1 C-185F 3 passengers, based in Port Hardy, operated by Wilderness Seaplanes
de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver 3 DHC-2, DHC-2 MK. I 4 passengers, based in Port Hardy, operated by Wilderness Seaplanes
Grumman Goose 4 G-21A 9 passengers, based in Port Hardy, includes 3 craft operated by Wilderness Seaplanes
Saab 340 8 340A, 340B 30 or 34 passengers, based in Vancouver and Calgary (June 2018.) Operated for WestJet Link[11]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • On August 3, 2008, a Grumman G-21 Goose aircraft with seven passengers and crew crashed during a flight from Port Hardy to Chamiss Bay. The aircraft was completely destroyed by a fire. There were only two survivors.[12]
  • On November 16, 2008, a Grumman G-21 Goose aircraft with seven passengers and one pilot crashed on South Thormanby Island off British Columbia's Sunshine Coast, during a flight from Vancouver International Airport to Toba Inlet, BC. The plane was flown into a hillside and exploded into a mass of burning wreckage according to the lone survivor, who was rescued by the Canadian Coast Guard.[13][14][15][16]


  1. ^ a b "Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Quick Search Result for Pacific Coastal Airlines". Transport Canada. Retrieved 2016-08-18. "Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Quick Search Result for Wilderness Seaplanes". Transport Canada. Retrieved 2016-08-18.
  2. ^ a b Pacific Coastal Airlines: Destinations Retrieved February 2015
  3. ^ "Contact Us." Pacific Coastal Airlines. Retrieved on December 4, 2011. "Pacific Coastal Airlines Head Office Vancouver International Airport - South Terminal 4440 Cowley Crescent Unit 204 Richmond BC V7B 1B8"
  4. ^ FLIGHT International. March 20, 1976, p.703.
  5. ^ Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle (Ladysmith, British Columbia). February 6, 1980, p.17
  6. ^ North Island Gazette (Port Hardy, British Columbia). February 20, 1980, p.15
  7. ^ FLIGHT International. November 7, 1981, p.1388.
  8. ^ Schofield, Jack. A Pilot's Journey Log: Daryl Smith and Pacific Coastal Airlines. Mayne Island, BC: CoastDog Press, 2010.
  9. ^ About
  10. ^ Pacific Coastal Airlines announces new Seaplane Division, Wilderness Seaplanes Ltd. January 24, 2016
  11. ^ "Pacific Coastal Airlines starts WestJet Link operations". World Airline News. 2018-06-20. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  12. ^ CBC: Investigators head to site of B.C. plane crash that killed 5 3 August 2008
  13. ^ CBC: 7 Dead In Plane Crash Off B.C. Coast 16 November 2008
  14. ^ Vancouver Sun: Thick fog may be to blame for B.C. crash Archived 2012-11-05 at the Wayback Machine 17 November 2008
  15. ^ Daily Commercial News: Victims of Thormanby Island plane crash identified 19 November 2008
  16. ^ CTV: A look inside the doomed B.C. plane 17 November 2008

External links[edit]