Whistler Air purchased by larger floatplane company 

Former owner planning new aviation venture

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO - AIR SALE Whistler Air is now owned by Harbour Air.
  • File photo
  • AIR SALE Whistler Air is now owned by Harbour Air.

The company that bills itself as the largest all-seaplane airline in the world just got a bit bigger.

Harbour Air has purchased Whistler Air.

Mike Quinn said he has sold the Whistler Air assets and the rights to the name.

“I didn’t have the business up for sale or anything,” said Quinn. “They came to me.”

He said the numbers were right and because he is now 60 he also said the timing was right.

Quinn said he is completely removed from the operation but he intends to launch a new aviation venture soon. He said his next venture will be small and it might be a helicopter operation as his company assets at one time included two helicopters. Those helicopters were sold and the company focused on its floatplane operations. An announcement on his next venture will be made soon, he said.

At the height of the summer, Quinn said Whistler Air employs 10 or 11 people. Quinn started Whistler Air in 1985 with a three passenger Cessna 185 and he added a DeHavilland Beaver to his fleet in 1988. Quinn added a 12-passenger turbine Otter to the inventory in 1999.

The company now offers regular flights between Whistler and Vancouver in addition to glacier tours, alpine lake landing tours and charter service along the B.C. coast.

Quinn said he hopes Harbour Air continues to focus on offering a tourism product for Whistler Air.

“They are a class act,” Quinn said. “They clearly have the economies of scale that I didn’t. I think it is nothing but good news for the community.”

Check Thursday’s edition of Pique Newsmagazine for more.

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