SEATTLE — With Memorial Day weekend upon us and summer travel heating up, Kenmore Air is touting its new daily service to Victoria, British Columbia.
The new service will be available from Boeing Field, Paine Field, and the Friday Harbor Airport, giving San Juan Island residents who might not be able to ferry to Victoria a way to cross the Haro Strait.
The announcement by the airline also means that it will have the only international service between the San Juan Islands and Victoria, B.C. The service started on Thursday, May 25, and offers two round trips per day.
Kenmore’s president, David Gudgel, said bookings are already being made and several flights in the future are sold out.
Gudgel said it’s worth noting that for Kenmore, this actually turns Friday Harbor in the San Juans into a hub for its flights.
“That might sound a little funny to have a hub in the San Juans, but the (San Juan Islands) are really an important service for us. We serve the (San Juans) year-round with both our floatplanes and our wheeled planes. Friday Harbor is the biggest of those locations that we serve. We saw a lot of people — residents and visitors — that were concerned that they could not make a quick trip to Victoria anymore. That played heavily into our decision,” said Gudgel.
Currently, you can fly from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Victoria, and there is also the ferry from Port Angeles, and another seasonal cruise service from Bellingham. Gudgel said residents of the San Juans generally have to drive to different ferry ports and take multiple ferries to get to Victoria, a process he estimates could take hours or the good part of a day, depending on the circumstances. He says the flight from Friday Harbor to Victoria is roughly 15 minutes.
The Kenmore Air option is also important since Washington State Ferries officials have said that the Anacortes/Friday Harbor/Sidney, B.C. route is out of service until at least spring 2030 due to vessel availability constraints.
“We are thrilled to take another step in expanding transportation connectivity to the San Juans, offering one-stop service to seven Alaska Airlines West Coast destinations through Everett’s Paine Field and daily service to Victoria in addition to our historic scheduled seaplane and landplane service,” said Gudgel.
The service could also bring more people to the San Juans and possibly provide a bit of an economic boost to the region. Gudgel admits the first-of-its-kind service will probably benefit a number of different travelers.
“We believe this new service will benefit both leisure and business travelers alike, offering an unparalleled experience and convenience. We are excited to connect more people to the beautiful destinations we serve,” he said.
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