Nanaimo Airport to offer new route to Vancouver

Orca Airways will begin offering twice-daily service from Nanaimo to Vancouver May 7.

As of next week, Central Island residents wanting to fly to Vancouver will have another option out of the Nanaimo Airport.

Richmond-based Orca Airways will begin twice-daily service from Nanaimo Airport to Vancouver International South Terminal on May 7.

“We are very pleased Orca Airways will be offering this new route,” says Nanaimo Airport CEO Mike Hooper. “Based on our analysis, we believe there is plenty of room in the market for a second carrier offering additional flights to Vancouver.”

Hooper points out that the major advantage land-based aircraft have over float planes is runway lights.

“By operating out of YCD, Orca Airways will be able to schedule earlier departures and later arrivals during the shorter winter days,” he says.

Orca operates 15 Piper Navajos and two King Airs on routes out of Tofino, Vancouver, Abbotsford, Victoria — and, as of next week, Qualicum Beach and Nanaimo.

“We are pleased to offer a competitive alternative to get to Vancouver,” says Crystal Downing, reservation and customer service manager at Orca Airway.

The new service is available for booking online at or toll-free

at 1-888-359-6722.