Vancouver Airline Features Local Artist in Plane Upgrades

Orca Airways upgraded plane | BCBusiness
Orca Airways Navajo Chieftan at Its Base at YVR South Terminal.

Orca Airways revamps the first aircraft in its fleet with original artwork from Tofino artist Roy Henry Vickers

A Vancouver-based airline is incorporating more than just some new widgets and seats into its recent fleet upgrades.

Image: Chris Pouget
Tofino artist Roy Henry
Vickers designed the new
Orca Airways exterior paint
scheme and tail.

Orca Airways Ltd., which offers scheduled and charter flights between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, has attempted to give its aircraft a real makeover. As part of the refurbishments, Orca Airways commissioned original artwork from local artist Roy Henry Vickers for the exterior and tail design of its first upgraded Navajo Chieftan PA-21-350 aircraft.

The exterior paint job is reminescent of ocean waves and pays homage to the province’s First Nations heritage.

“I’ve flown with Orca Airways for many years and have enjoyed the attention to good service they provide,” said Vickers in a release. “Recently, I began to think of doing a design for the planes. The ocean, the orca dorsal fin and people were all components of the thought process that lead to the design and artwork that I am honoured to have Orca incorporating into their new look.”

Vickers is a First Nations artist from B.C. with a gallery displaying his work in Tofino.

The first upgraded aircraft will be unveiled Tuesday, Oct. 22, featuring Vickers’ design, refurbished interiors and new avionics equipment. Orca has plans to incorporate the new design and other upgrades to its remaining fleet of more than 20 planes.