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Pacific Coastal Airlines says it's suspending Vancouver-Cranbrook service due to staff shortages

A B1900D Pacific Coastal Airlines plane. The company has announced that as of April 28, the Vancouver-Cranbrook service will no longer be available.  (Pacific Coastal Airlines  - image credit)
A B1900D Pacific Coastal Airlines plane. The company has announced that as of April 28, the Vancouver-Cranbrook service will no longer be available. (Pacific Coastal Airlines - image credit)

Pacific Coastal Airlines has announced it is suspending service between Vancouver and Cranbrook, B.C., due to staff shortages.

The airline said in a news release Monday that it will end its regularly scheduled flight service between the cities on April 28, citing operational constraints due to a "critical pilot and aircraft maintenance engineer shortage."

Customers affected by the cancellation will be contacted and offered a full refund, it said.

"We are unable to offer our desired level of flight frequency and capacity and have made the difficult decision to suspend flights between Vancouver and Cranbrook, as well as reduce capacity in other markets in our network, to ensure that we can maintain offering a reliable and robust flight schedule for 2023," said Johnathan Richardson, vice-president of customer and commercial, in the release.

Tristen Chernove, manager of the Canadian Rockies International Airport in Cranbrook, says he and the community are sad to see the service end.

"For Pacific Coastal to compete in that arena is just really difficult, especially right now with their staff shortages," said Chernove. "So, I do understand the decision they've made and we will continue a strong relationship with Pacific Coastal whether they are currently operating to our airport or not.

"Going from Cranbrook to Vancouver south terminal, small airport to small airport, is an exceptional product of convenience. And it's really sad to see that go," Chernove added.

Pacific Coastal previously suspended the route in early 2020 due to a pilot shortage. Shortly thereafter, the COVID-19 pandemic began, disrupting air travel across the world.

Market conditions allowed for the route to return on July 5, 2020 — until now, the company said.

Air Canada and WestJet still offer flights between Cranbrook and Vancouver.