Hawkair moving to bigger nest

Passengers flying to Vancouver with Hawkair will be arriving at a different terminal come the spring.

Passengers flying to Vancouver with Hawkair will be arriving at a different terminal come the spring.

The northern airline is making the move from the south terminal to Vancouver’s Main Terminal as early as April 2.

“We’ve been thinking about this for some time,” said Hawkair’s general manager Rod Hayward.

“The biggest impetus to making this decision go forward is the fact that the Canada Line is now there….and other carriers have said that in order for our relationship to grow stronger with them, we need to be in the main terminal.”

He also said the main terminal services give a lot more choice to their customers; the move means passengers will be able to connect with other airlines without changing terminals, and reach downtown in 22 minutes through the Canada Line skytrain.

Other benefits of the main terminal include car rental agencies, dining and shopping options, an on-site hotel and shuttle service to local hotels.

Hawkair has operated out of the south terminal for the past 10 years and has an agreement with Pacific Coastal to fly to Vancouver Island.

It’ll be offering the service until the move to the main terminal, where it will then be looking for another carrier to fly to the Island.

“The south terminal has been a good home to us in Vancouver but we feel the move to the main terminal provides many benefits for our passengers including easier connections and ground transportation options,” Hayward said.

“It’s not an easy decision to make, but we just looked at the long-term growth potential, and the convenience of the main terminal,” he said, noting that a lot of the company’s traffic is medical travel, people who are happy with the move to the main terminal.

Hawkair operates Dash 8-100 and Dash 8-300 series aircraft in Terrace-Kitimat, Smithers-Houston, Prince Rupert and Vancouver.

The Terrace-based company was bought by a larger northern-based organization that includes Smithers-based Central Mountain Air and Prince George-based Northern Thunderbird Air last year.

Hawkair’s marketing director Darryl Tucker said the combined airlines will be of service to the local economy with new opportunities in power, mining and the Rio Tinto Alcan Kitimat Modernization project in northern BC.