Hawkair switches terminals

Passengers flying to Vancouver with Hawkair will be landing at the Vancouver airport’s main terminal instead of the south one as of April 2.

Hawkair customers will be landing in the main terminal in Vancouver this April.

Hawkair customers will be landing in the main terminal in Vancouver this April.

Passengers flying to Vancouver with Hawkair will be landing at the Vancouver airport’s main terminal instead of the south one as of April 2.

“The biggest impetus to making this decision go forward is the fact that the Canada Line is now there….and other carriers have said that in order for our relationship to grow stronger with them, we need to be in the main terminal,” said airline general manager Rod Hayward last week.

The airline already offers a reduced north-south fare if passengers fly onward with WestJet and Central Mountain Airlines, owned by the same parent company as owns Hawkair, flies out of the main terminal.

Hayward said about 35 per cent of all the people flying out of the Terrace airport connect on to other flights in Vancouver, and Hawkair only has a small portion of this number.

“Other carriers have always held back from negotiating with us, because of the distance involved and the ability to seamlessly transfer passengers and luggage,” he said.

He also said the services the main terminal offers gives a lot more choice to their customers; the move means passengers will be able to connect with other airlines without changing terminals, and reach downtown in 22 minutes through Skytrain’s Canada Line. Other benefits of the main terminal include car rental agencies, dining and shopping options, an on-site hotel and shuttle service to local hotels.

Hawkair has operated out of the south terminal for the past 10 years; Vancouver Island-bound passengers have the benefit of an agreement with Pacific Coastal which uses the south terminal.

Hayward said Hawkair will look for another Island carrier after the move.

“The south terminal has been a good home to us in Vancouver but we feel the move to the main terminal provides many benefits for our passengers including easier connections and ground transportation options,” Hayward said.

“It’s not an easy decision to make, but we just looked at the long-term growth potential, and the convenience of the main terminal,” he said, noting that a lot of the company’s traffic is medical travel, who are happy with the move to the main terminal.

Hawkair operates Dash 8-100 and Dash 8-300 series aircraft.

While Hawkair will have its own counter in the main terminal, the move will allow Hawkair and Central Mountain to share some facilities.

Hawkair’s marketing director Darryl Tucker said the combined airlines will be of service to the local economy in anticipation of economic growth arising from mining developments, hydro power developments and Rio Tinto Alcan’s smelter rebuild.