A new air carrier is being sought for Qualicum Beach Airport. (PQB News file photo)

COVID-19: New air carrier sought for Qualicum Beach Airport

Island Express Air ends operation due to pandemic

Town officials are working with a new air carrier to replace Island Express Air, which ended services at the Qualicum Beach Airport due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Island Express Air first informed the Town in April that it could close its operations and it eventually did, leaving the region without flights to Vancouver Airport.

“The realities of COVID especially for a small operator made it extremely difficult to survive,” said Daniel Sailland, chief administrative officer for the town. “Unfortunately, that’s where we were at.”

Sailland indicated they have been collaborating with Iskwew Air to re-establish air flights from Qualicum Beach to YVR. The carrier is conducting a survey how to best serve the region.

RELATED: Qualicum Beach wants to make town’s airport financially sound

“Part of that due diligence is outreach to the general community,” said Sailland. “Iskwew Air is exploring the opportunity to establish service in Qualicum Beach and we are helping distribute a survey on their behalf.”

Regular users or those who are interested in flying out of Qualicum Beach are asked to complete the survey online at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd7vsISiKmLk5_iOIeAhIXLArmPy4l8AoFstvl2rYIxU1kRNw/viewform

The town has just finished refurbishing the airport, including the terminal building, grading, paving, installation of lighting and new signage.

“It’s just stunning and spectacular,” said Sailland. “We’re ready to get things going. We’re hoping to have a carrier in place soon.”

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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