FLYING Magazine

Next month, Kenmore Air will return to daily flights between Seattle, Washington, and British Columbia. 

“We’ve been hunkered down for two years. It’s time to go out and have some fun—or better yet, go to the Butchart Gardens in Victoria and see them!” says Todd Banks, president and CEO of Kenmore Air.

The flights to Canada were suspended in March 2020 when the border was closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kenmore Air will resume air service between Seattle and Victoria, British Columbia, on April 1. On May 1, service resumes between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia. 

This has been made possible, says Banks, by the reopening of Canadian airports. They were closed in March 2020 by Transport Canada (the Canadian aviation authority, akin to the FAA) as a means of controlling the spread of COVID.

The NOTAM expired earlier this month.

“The airports are reopening in a phased approach,” Banks explains. “Kenmore Air will begin two flights per day, then ramp up the schedule as more customers show up during tourist season. We are adjusting, waking up our organization thoughtfully and safely.”

By June, the company aims to have four flights a day between Seattle and Victoria and Vancouver.

What You Need to Go

The COVID testing requirements for travelers between Canada and Washington state were also recently relaxed, so travelers do not need to show proof of a recent negative COVID test, but they must show proof of a vaccine.

Customers are also required to have a current passport. Banks suggests using the ArriveCAN app that allows the user to put in their vaccination information and passport information.

Masks will still have to be worn on the aircraft as Kenmore is a Part 135 operation and required to follow FAA requirements on masking. Masks are still required on public transportation.

Why This Matters

Kenmore Air, with its iconic de Havilland DHC-2 Beavers on floats are as much a symbol of the Pacific Northwest as the Space Needle, Mount Rainier, or the orca. Banks grandfather, Robert Munro, founded the company with two friends in 1946. 

For residents of the Pacific Northwest, the increase in the number of the Kenmore Beavers on floats taking off and landing on Lake Washington either heading to or coming from someplace is a sure sign of spring. 

Banks notes the company performs engine overhauls for Beavers in addition to scheduled and charter operations. In the less flying intensive months, the maintenance team stays very busy.

To make a reservation or to take advantage of one of Kenmore’s air tours or trips in Washington state, visit the Kenmore Air website.

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