Pacific Coastal Airlines

Pacific Coastal Airlines Ltd is a Canadian regional airline that operates scheduled, charter and cargo services to destinations in British Columbia. Its head office is located in the South Terminal of Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, British Columbia.[5] Its main base is Vancouver International Airport, with a hub at Port Hardy Airport.

Pacific Coastal Airlines Ltd.
433ah - Pacific Coastal Airlines Beech 1900C Airliner, C-GBPC@YYJ,09.10.2006 - Flickr - Aero Icarus.jpg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Pacific Coastal 2870,[1]
Wilderness 18449[2]
HubsVancouver International Airport
Fleet size27[3]
HeadquartersVancouver International Airport
Richmond, British Columbia
Key peopleSmith family
WebsitePacific Coastal Airlines


Grumman G-21 Goose of Pacific Coastal Airlines now operated by Wilderness Seaplanes at Vancouver Airport in 2008

The original Pacific Coastal Airlines was established in 1956 as Cassidair Services,[6] operating from its base at Cassidy Airport, now Nanaimo Airport, south of Nanaimo.[7] In early 1980, the airline was acquired by Jim Pattison Industries and absorbed into Airwest Airlines, also recently acquired by Pattison.[8] At the time of the acquisition, Pacific Coastal was operating on the Nanaimo-Vancouver, Victoria-Nanaimo-Comox-Campbell River-Port Hardy, and Nanaimo-Qualicum-Port Alberni routes.[9] On November 1, 1980, Airwest and several other local airlines recently acquired by Pattison were merged into Air BC.[10]

The current Pacific Coastal Airlines was established in 1987 by the merger of Powell Air and the Port Hardy division of Air BC.[11] It acquired the shares and assets of Wilderness Seaplanes on April 1, 1998. As of 2015, it has over 300 employees.[12]

A new airline division, Wilderness Seaplanes, which started service on May 5, 2016 was established to take over the Pacific Coastal Airlines Seaplane Division and is based at Port Hardy and Bella Bella.[13][14]

On November 24, 2017, Westjet and Pacific Coastal announced an agreement to operate Saab 340 aircraft under the new WestJet Link brand commencing in June 2018. These aircraft are based at the Calgary International Airport hub, and served destinations such as Lethbridge, Prince George, Lloydminster and Vancouver International Airport to Cranbrook, Kamloops, Nanaimo and Comox.


A Pacific Coastal Airlines Shorts 360 on the ground at Bella Bella, British Columbia
A Beechcraft 1900C, flown by Pacific Coastal Airlines, landing at Vancouver International Airport

Pacific Coastal Airlines operates services to the following destinations in British Columbia:[4]


As of October 2020, Pacific Coastal Airlines had twenty-one aircraft registered with Transport Canada, plus six registered to Wilderness Seaplanes:[3]

Pacific Coastal Airlines fleet
Aircraft Count Variants Notes
Beechcraft 1900 10 1900C, 1900D 19 passengers, based in Vancouver
Cessna 185 Skywagon 1 C-185F 3 passengers, based in Port Hardy, operated by Wilderness Seaplanes
de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver 3 DHC-2, DHC-2 MK. I 4 passengers, based in Port Hardy, two operated by Wilderness Seaplanes and one by Pacific Coastal (not on website)
Grumman Goose 4 G-21A 9 passengers, based in Port Hardy, includes three craft operated by Wilderness Seaplanes and one by Pacific Coastal (not on website)
Saab 340 9 340A, 340B 30 or 34 passengers, based in Vancouver and Calgary (June 2018.) Operated for WestJet Link[15]
Total 27

Incidents and accidentsEdit

  • On August 3, 2008, a Grumman G-21 Goose aircraft with seven passengers and crew crashed during a flight from Port Hardy to Chamiss Bay. The aircraft was completely destroyed by a fire. There were only two survivors.[16]
  • On November 16, 2008, a Grumman G-21 Goose aircraft with seven passengers and one pilot crashed on South Thormanby Island off British Columbia's Sunshine Coast, during a flight from Vancouver International Airport to Toba Inlet, BC. The plane was flown into a hillside and exploded into a mass of burning wreckage according to the lone survivor, who was rescued by the Canadian Coast Guard.[17][18][19][20]


  1. ^ Transport Canada (AOC), Civil Aviation Services (CAS) AOC.
  2. ^ Transport Canada (2019-09-02), Civil Aviation Services (CAS) AOC.
  3. ^ a b "Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Quick Search Result for Pacific Coastal Airlines". Transport Canada. Retrieved 2019-09-02., "Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Quick Search Result for Wilderness Seaplanes". Transport Canada. Retrieved 2019-09-02.
  4. ^ a b Pacific Coastal Airlines: Destinations Retrieved September 2019
  5. ^ "Contact Us." Pacific Coastal Airlines. Retrieved on December 4, 2011. "Pacific Coastal Airlines Head Office Vancouver International Airport - South Terminal 4440 Cowley Crescent Unit 204 Richmond BC V7B 1B8"
  6. ^ "Cassidair Services". Airline History. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  7. ^ FLIGHT International. March 20, 1976, p.703.
  8. ^ Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle (Ladysmith, British Columbia). February 6, 1980, p.17
  9. ^ North Island Gazette (Port Hardy, British Columbia). February 20, 1980, p.15
  10. ^ FLIGHT International. November 7, 1981, p.1388.
  11. ^ Schofield, Jack. A Pilot's Journey Log: Daryl Smith and Pacific Coastal Airlines. Mayne Island, BC: CoastDog Press, 2010.
  12. ^ About
  13. ^ Pacific Coastal Airlines announces new Seaplane Division, Wilderness Seaplanes Ltd. January 24, 2016
  14. ^ Bases
  15. ^ "Pacific Coastal Airlines starts WestJet Link operations". World Airline News. 2018-06-20. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  16. ^ CBC: Investigators head to site of B.C. plane crash that killed 5 3 August 2008
  17. ^ CBC: 7 Dead In Plane Crash Off B.C. Coast 16 November 2008
  18. ^ Vancouver Sun: Thick fog may be to blame for B.C. crash Archived 2012-11-05 at the Wayback Machine 17 November 2008
  19. ^ Daily Commercial News: Victims of Thormanby Island plane crash identified Archived 2011-07-28 at the Wayback Machine 19 November 2008
  20. ^ CTV: A look inside the doomed B.C. plane 17 November 2008

External linksEdit