An extra flight to Trail from Vancouver has been added to Pacific Coastal’s roster for a second year.
Spencer Smith, vice president of commercial services said that although last year’s extra flight didn’t quite net their targeted growth increase, a third flight will continue, but with a smaller aircraft.
“Balancing our load factor on an additional flight is the preferable option,” said Smith.
“The general sense is that the option of an additional flight is preferable over the size of the plane.”
Last year, Pacific Coastal used a 30-seat Saab 640A on its three flights into the regional airport: this year they will fly a 19-seat Beechcraft 1900C to improve passenger load factor.
Passenger load factor refers to the ratio of revenue passenger miles to available seat miles of a particular transportation operation.
“It looks like this summer we will just run the 1900s,” he said.
“But we will upgrade depending on demand and aircraft availability.”
The new spring/summer schedule was designed to provide Greater Trail residents more travel options and greater convenience, offering the latest departure time (6:20 p.m), from Trail by any airline in the region.
The additional evening flight is available seven days a week, said Smith.
The Richmond-based company opened its operation in Trail in 2006, offering a single flight from Vancouver seven days a week.
Strong local support and growing passenger numbers led to the addition of a second weekday flight later that year.
Last year, the company targeted a 38 per cent increase in air traffic out of Trail when they elected to add a third daily flight to the Lower Mainland.
When all was said and done, the growth increase was at 35 per cent, or around 7,000 passengers per year, said Smith in a previous interview.
The airline will transition to fewer flights later in the fall due to shorter daylight hours.