Downtown seaplane flights to link Vancouver, Seattle
Harbour Air seaplanes are seen in Vancouver's Coal Harbour.
Published Thursday, September 14, 2017 5:36PM PDT
Travellers heading between Seattle and Vancouver could soon shorten their journey, with direct flights between the cities' downtown cores planned to take off next year.
Kenmore Air already offers direct flights between the Seattle lake airport and Victoria's Inner Harbour.
The proposed Vancouver-Seattle flight path has been nicknamed the "nerd bird" because it links the growing high-tech sectors of both cities. If approved, the new route could begin as early as spring 2018.
In an interview at the Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference in Seattle, Microsoft president Brad Smith said he's hopeful for regular seaplane service between the cities within the next year.
"Frankly there was little reason not to have it in place this year," he told The Canadian Press.
"I think it's not unreasonable to say we need to move faster in getting that done."
Smith said he also hopes a plan to build a high-speed train between the cities will come to fruition. Microsoft donated US$50,000 to a feasibility study commissioned by Washington State.
Vancouver's Microsoft Canada office currently employs 800 workers, and Smith said he sees continuing opportunities for growth north of the border.
He added it "makes sense" for Vancouver to make an effort to woo Amazon.com, based in Seattle and currently looking for a location for its second headquarters.
With files from The Canadian Press