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West Coast 703 “Airline” looks forward to new revenue.

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Vancouver BC, Travel restrictions imposed because of the Covid 19 pandemic have caused a catastrophic drop in air travel. Most airlines have furloughed pilots in an effort to keep the lights on at their operations.

One company seems to be an outlier actually welcoming the change in the aviation market place and is looking for a return to “normalcy” for their operation.

Frequency Express a small 703 Air Taxi on the West Coast had been in financial trouble prior to the Covid 19 Pandemic.

“We couldn’t find pilots, we had to cancel many flights and worst of all with the pilot shortage we had to raise our pay above $6 per hour” Says Owner Rand Grilles.

“Before all this pilot shortage nonsense our First Officers where a revenue stream” Mr Grilles added during our interview.

Frequency Express Piper Navajo ready for departure.

Frequency Express operates a fleet of Piper Navajos that typically haul cargo and mail to smaller communities around British Columbia. Summer season usually means extra flight revenue hauling Tourists to various sport fishing lodges and camps. This year that revenue is non existent, however with more people shopping online this has brought growth in their cargo operation.

“Before those Airlines started hiring Pilots right out of flight school we had a stack of resumes on my desk. The government would approve our TFW (Temporary Foreign Workers) applicants same day they applied. Then one day all of a sudden we couldn’t find anyone, we had to switch to a Single Pilot operation which eliminated our Pay to Fly program. It wasn’t a big deal regulation wise as we only had a VFR single pilot 703 licence anyway, but the revenue from our Pay to Fly program paid for the Captain and sometimes maintenance” Rand goes on to explain.

As we sat in his office, radio chatter started picking up on “company radio”, we intently listened in on Frequency Express Company radio tuned to 121.5 mhz. It seams a plane was returning with engine trouble.

“not again!” Rand shouts standing up from our interview. We rejoined him later that day and asked if everything was o.k.

“No comment, all I can say is I can’t wait for that idiot in Ottawa to cancel the CERB program so I can get some god dam pilots”

Frequency Express completes a normal Landing in Nanaimo BC

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