Kenmore Air planes on display at Nanaimo Airport when the company started regularly scheduled flights to Seattle in March 2014. Kenmore Air announced Friday it will suspend scheduled flights from Nanaimo Airport on May 4.

Kenmore Air planes on display at Nanaimo Airport when the company started regularly scheduled flights to Seattle in March 2014. Kenmore Air announced Friday it will suspend scheduled flights from Nanaimo Airport on May 4.

Kenmore Air suspends service to Nanaimo Airport

NANAIMO – Kenmore Air cutting regular scheduled flights from Seattle to Nanaimo after just 14 months.

After just 14 months of operations, Seattle-based Kenmore Air is suspending regular scheduled flight service to Nanaimo Airport.

Craig O’Neill, Kenmore Air director of flight operations, said the Seattle-to-Nanaimo service will cease on May 4, ending the company’s first attempt at land-based aircraft service to Vancouver Island.

“We have reached the decision, with a lot of reluctance, to discontinue the service,” O’Neill said. “We’ve tried it for over a year and just have not seen growth to any kind of passenger count that we would need to consider it economically viable for us to keep going.”

The company started operations from Nanaimo Airport on March 3, 2014, with two flights a day, seven days a week, to Boeing Field in Seattle, with nine-passenger aircraft, but was never able to generate enough business to maintain that schedule and cut back to two flights Monday and Friday with one flight on Wednesday. Attempts to find a sustainable schedule never produced the needed passenger numbers to keep the service aloft.

O’Neill cited the difference between Canadian and U.S. currency values as a final blow to the service, but also mentioned it never drew the numbers of leisure travellers hoped for.

“We do feel the people who went on it found it worthwhile and really enjoyed it, but they were mainly business travellers,” O’Neill said.

Kenmore Air will continue to offer charter flights from Nanaimo Airport and its seasonal floatplane service from Nanaimo Harbour, which runs from May until September.

O’Neill said Naniamo Airport has been a good business partner.

“They have been fantastic partners and really turned over every stone with us to try and make it work. We’re very sorry it didn’t pan out.”

Mike Hooper, Nanaimo Airport president and CEO, said the loss of Kenmore’s regular flights is not all bad news.

“We’re going to continue to work with Kenmore on their charter services,” Hooper said.

He added that Kenmore’s seaplane flights to Seattle will enhance air carrier service in the region along with additional Air Canada flights to Vancouver and Calgary starting May 1.

“In terms of air transportation in the area, there’s going to be a considerable increase in options people can catch, whether it’s into the States with Kenmore because they’re going to add flights, or if it’s into Vancouver or Alberta. It’s all increasing,” Hooper said.

Just Posted

Kate Cram and her team at Old Town Ice Cream are thrilled to be open for business. (Cole Schisler photo)
Old Town Ice Cream opens up right on time for summer

Located at 539 1st Avenue, Old Time Ice Cream is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Volunteers Alex Cook, Ron Dashwood, and Bill Drysdale have been hard at work restoring the old Ladysmith train station. (Cole Schisler photo)
Train station restoration on track for future community open house

Community is asked to give feedback on what they think the best use is for the station

Chemainus Indigenous Peoples Weekend organizer Connie Crocker. (Photo submitted)
Chemainus Indigenous Peoples Weekend online June 19-21

Event’s been in the planning stages since February without knowing COVID implications

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Most Read