Helijet Increases Service to the North

Helijet will replace seaplanes at two northern sport fishing lodges.

Helijet International will now serve 14 sport-fishing lodges on B.C.’s northern coast

This morning Richmond-based Helijet International Inc. announced plans to amp up its presence on the north coast of B.C., coming in the form of four-year air service agreements with two sport-fishing lodges in the Whale Channel and Caamano Sound regions.

Helijets will replace seaplanes as the chosen transportation between Bella Bella Airport and the northern resorts, bringing not only guests, but groceries and freight to the isolated retreats. With flights sold as part of packaged resort deals, Helijet anticipates offering two transfer runs each week, depending on the length of guest stays and general needs of the lodges.

While Helijet president and CEO Danny Sitnam sees the northern ecotourism industry as a place where his company has room to grow, he’s reluctant to say that these agreements are signs of increased business for northern tourism at large. Sitnam noted that the lodges in question are long-standing businesses, which are just changing their transportation model, not necessarily gearing up for greater tourist numbers. “I’m not sure if the market is more buoyant or not, it has still been a challenging business for our clients,” he said.

Valued at over $3.5 million dollars, these contracts bring the number of northern B.C. sport-fishing lodges served by Helijet to 14, adding to what Sitnam sees as a “significant piece of the business…. It’s certainly not the largest, but it’s a big piece of our chartered business now in the north coast.”