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Orca Airways Adds Iconic 15-Passenger Beech 99 Aircraft

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.

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
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.

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