Press

Orca Airways Adds Iconic 15-Passenger Beech 99 Aircraft to Meet Growing Demand for Regional Commuter and Leisure Passenger Service

Newly Retrofitted Plane Halves Flight Time Between Vancouver and Popular Vancouver Island Destinations


Vancouver, BC, August 6, 2015 – Orca Airways Ltd., the leading airline providing daily scheduled flights between Vancouver and Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and charter services throughout North America, today announced that it has added a 15-passenger Beechcraft Model 99 to its fleet of 22 aircraft to service the rapidly growing demand from business commuters and leisure travellers.


Orca Airways’ Beech 99 pictured on the runway at Tofino-Long Beach Airport, British Columbia.

Increase in Demand – Tofino Long Beach Airport
Recently purchased and extensively retrofitted, the Orca Airways Beech 99, will fly between Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and popular Vancouver Island destinations including Tofino-Long Beach Airport (YAZ) which, according to Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) records, has experienced a 33% increase in air traffic between January and June, 2015, compared to the same period in 2014. In a related announcement on August 5, 2015, Tofino-Long Beach Airport will receive $ 1.27 million in funding from the new B.C. Air Access Program, part of B.C. on the Move, the Government of B.C.’s 10-year transportation plan, for infrastructure upgrades including new runway lighting.

The Orca Airways Beechcraft Model 99, also known as the Beech 99 Airliner and the Commuter 99, is a twin-engine, unpressurized, turboprop aircraft with a cruising speed of up to 205 knots (380 kilometers per hour) at 10,000 feet (3,050 meters), and a range of 910 nautical miles (1,686 kilometers.) In addition to doubling passenger seating capacity, the Beech 99 halves the current flying time for scheduled routes currently serviced by Orca Airways’ 7-seat Piper Navajo Chieftain aircraft. The flight time from Vancouver to Tofino, for example, goes from approximately one hour to just over 30 minutes.

“The Beech 99 in an ideal aircraft to help us address the remarkable increase in demand for regional commuter and leisure passenger service,” said Andrew Naysmith, president and CEO of Orca Airways. “Our daily service between Vancouver and the airports on Vancouver Island has become the preferred travel option for many residents and visitors, and we have seen a significant spike in demand in the past two years. We are very excited to be able to offer our growing number of passengers a faster, larger capacity aircraft option, operated by two crew members at all times.”

“We are delighted that Orca Airways is stepping up its already popular passenger service to and from Vancouver Island,” said Charles McDiarmid, managing director of Tofino’s Wickaninnish Inn. “Being able to accommodate more passengers on faster flights will be appreciated not only by resident commuters, but also by our visitors from all over the world who want to spend less time travelling and more time enjoying our destination’s many attributes.”

About Orca Airways www.flyorcaair.com
Founded in 2005 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Orca Airways is a growing, safety-driven airline company providing scheduled passenger service to and from Abottsford, Tofino, Qualicum Beach, Vancouver and Victoria. The company also provides charter, cargo and medivac services throughout North America. Headquartered at Vancouver International Airport’s South terminal with 22,500 square feet of office and hanger space, Orca Airways is dedicated to the highest standards in safety, maintenance, performance and customer satisfaction.

Media Contact
Lynda Kaye
Kaye Public Relations for Orca Airways
e: lynda@kayepr.com
p: 250-266-5293




Orca Airways’ Aircraft Updates Feature Acclaimed Canadian Artist Roy Henry Vickers

Vancouver-based Airline’s Upgrade Program Includes
Colorful, Ocean-Themed Exterior Makeover


Vancouver, BC, October 22, 2013Orca Airways Ltd., the leading airline providing daily scheduled flights between Vancouver and Vancouver Island, and charter services throughout North America, today unveiled its newly refurbished Navajo Chieftan PA-21-350 aircraft – the first plane in the company’s fleet to undergo extensive upgrades including exterior paint design and original tail artwork by renowned Canadian First Nations artist and storyteller, Roy Henry Vickers.

“I’ve flown with Orca Airways for many years and have enjoyed the attention to good service they provide,” said Roy Henry Vickers. “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 led to the design and artwork that I am honoured to have Orca incorporating into their new look.”

Photo: Artist Roy Henry Vickers (left) and Orca Airways president and CEO Andrew Naysmith with the company’s newly updated Navajo Chieftain featuring Vickers’ original design.

Orca Airways plans to standardize on the Roy Henry Vickers design as part of a complete refurbishment program for its fleet of more than 20 aircraft. Other upgrades include interior makeovers and new avionics equipment.


“In addition to the truly beautiful exterior paint scheme, we are the first local carrier to have our passenger aircraft avionics systems upgraded to the Transport Canada TAWS (terrain avoidance) criteria being mandated in 2014,” said Andrew Naysmith, president and CEO of Orca Airways.

About Orca Airways www.flyorcaair.com
Founded in 2005 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Orca Airways is a safety-driven, performance based airline company focused on training, customer service, effective leadership, employee relationships and effective enterprise management. Occupying 22,500 square feet of office and hanger space at Vancouver International Airport’s South Terminal, the company’s fleet of more than 20 aircraft provide daily scheduled flights between Vancouver and Vancouver Island, and charter services throughout North America.

About Roy Henry Vickers www.royhenryvickers.com
Roy Henry Vickers is one of Canada's most respected and celebrated artists, and an important leader among the First Nations community. Best known for his painting and prints, he has been recognized through awards and honours including induction to the Order of Canada (2006), receipt of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal (2003), the Order Of British Columbia (1998), and Queens Diamond Jubilee (2012) and inclusion as the first ever (and only) artist to rank in Maclean's Magazine's 'Annual List of Extraordinary Canadian Achievers' (1994).

Media Contact
Lynda Kaye
Kaye Public Relations for Orca Airways
e: lynda@kayepr.com
p: 250-266-5293