There is a new player in the skies above the Okanagan. Its official mascot and air-traffic call sign is Bigfoot, after the legendary giant that has been in the mystical and spiritual roots of British Columbia for many generations. Its goal is to provide fun, flexible and affordable air service for residents up and down the valley.
Cascadia Air is already flying direct non-stop flights out of Penticton to three Lower Mainland airports and provides direct flights to Tofino and Campbell River from the Lower Mainland. The airline is now working on plans to begin services out of Vernon.
One of the commuter airline’s missions is to cut the commuting time for travellers at both ends of the journey, and they do that by flying out of and into smaller airports. Cascadia Air offers a clear and simple service model. There are no price increases at various times of the day. You can buy a ticket up to two hours before a scheduled departure, and the flexibility of their service makes it easy for people to book last-minute travel to their favourite local destinations.
“We call ourselves a local destination airline. There are no surprises to our prices,” CEO Tristina Anderson says. “We carefully designed our services to make it affordable and hassle-free for people to travel and enjoy wonderful destinations such as the Okanagan. Our aircraft are small, and we intentionally designed our seating capacity to carry six passengers versus eight. This gives our passengers more legroom, comfort and luggage capacity. We fly just high enough where passengers can take in the beautiful B.C. mountains and scenery from the sky.”
Cascadia Air allows its customers to cancel flights up to 24 hours before departure and receive a full refund. If customers want to change their flight or assign it to someone else within 24 hours before departure, these changes are free, and you get a real customer agent that helps you.
The airline also offers a new service in the Lower Mainland where customers coming into or living in the Fraser Valley can fly on their ‘urban commuter flights.’ This convenient 20-minute flight takes you directly into Vancouver International South Terminal from Chilliwack, Abbotsford or Pitt Meadows airports.
The urban commuter service is a great way for people to catch a quick flight so they can connect to other domestic or international flights or enjoy an evening or weekend in the city to watch hockey games, concerts or attend events without the long travel time on the highway, which sometimes can take hours depending on road and traffic conditions.
“Coming out of Covid, we wanted to make travel to local resorts or other smaller destinations a comfortable and fun experience for everyone,” president and chief operating officer Jeremy Barrett says. “We’re here to build relationships with our customers and destinations for the long term. We all need to be mindful of how we kickstart local economies again, and if we can have fun and provide a benefit to everyone while doing it, why not.”
Cascadia Air plans to expand to more special destinations throughout B.C. to connect residents and all those visiting our beautiful province, whether it’s for work or pleasure. Cascadia Air focuses on the smaller towns and resort destinations because it is all about community.
It got right to work when the floods struck the Lower Mainland. Its first passenger was someone from Chilliwack who needed to get to Vancouver for a serious medical appointment. From that moment, Cascadia Air and its small team of fewer than 20 people continued to service hundreds of displaced individuals and families from the Lower Mainland and Okanagan non-stop for several days until the disaster became under control.
“We’re a local small business trying to survive in tough times like everyone else,” Barrett says. “When the floods hit, the phones began ringing off the hook from eight o’clock in the morning onward, and our social media became viral from displaced residents seeking information and help within a day. There was no time to do anything else except help people where we could. I remember putting volunteers and staff at our small airports to provide information and prioritize flights so people could be reunited with their loved ones. There was no other reason than it was the right thing to do, and we had the means to help.”
To book a flight on Cascadia Air, visit its website here.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.