Tofino Air Lines officials are hoping the buzz in the community around the Gibsons-to-Vancouver floatplane service will translate into actual passengers.
“There’s definitely a lot of excitement around it,” general manager Buffy Barrett said. “However, that being said, there’s not a lot of bookings.”
The service was launched on Monday, Aug. 26, but as of Wednesday, no passengers had actually flown in or out of Gibsons Harbour.
Barrett said she was not surprised by the slow response, adding that it’s “just a matter of buzz getting out” before the situation turns around.
The company has contacted a list of people who expressed interest in using the service, Barrett said, but “some felt it was too expensive.”
Tofino Air is charging $68.75 for the flight, but it’s the extra costs — port fees of $5 in Gibsons and $9.50 in Vancouver, plus GST — that put it out of reach for some people, she said.
To offset the cost for some passengers, Barrett noted that Tofino Air offers a 50 per cent discount for children between two and 11 years old, 20 per cent for students who show valid student ID, and 15 per cent for seniors 65 and up.
Scheduled flights from Monday to Saturday leave Gibsons at 9:15 a.m. and Vancouver at 10 a.m. A second flight from Monday to Friday leaves Gibsons at 5:45 p.m. and Vancouver at 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday flights leave Gibsons at 4:15 p.m. and Vancouver at 3:30 p.m.
Flights take about 20 minutes and departure times are subject to change without notice.
The plane seats five people and will board and unload passengers in Gibsons from the new concrete float on the north side of the wharf. Flights have a two-passenger minimum.
For more information, call Tofino Air’s Sechelt base at 604-740-8889.