Like many businesses around the world, Chad Wetsch and his team at Harbour Air have been monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic daily.
They have been evaluating their businesses and making difficult and necessary decisions to support the health and safety of their staff and communities who rely on their services.
“We have seen the impact COVID-19 has had on the communities we service,” said Wetsch, executive vice-president, Harbour Air. “We didn’t want to leave anyone stranded, so we responded quickly, changing how we operate to get people and supplies where they needed to go.”
Harbour Air has introduced a number of protocols to help prepare its business for the new post COVID-19 world. To assist with travel for essential service workers and freight services, and to support the supply chain process, including deliveries of food, materials and products to neighbours, businesses and facilities in need, it has:
- adjusted its fleet scheduling and reduced available aircraft seating to allow for on-board physical distancing;
- provided passengers with gloves and masks. Passengers are asked to sign a health declaration form that is required before travel and may also have their temperature checked using a no-touch thermometer;
- ensured all ground and flight crew have their temperature checked upon arriving and departing at the workplace; and
- continued to follow the stringent cleaning and sanitation protocols in place and will provide ample access to hand sanitizer in all terminals, as well as pre and post flight.
For a complete list of the adjustments made, visit: https://www.harbourair.com/covid-19-flight-update/
With the safety of its passengers, team and communities at the forefront of all of the decision-making, Harbour Air changed its service model to exceed both Transport Canada and Health Canada’s recommendations. It has introduced vigilant cleaning and physical distancing protocols and reduced operations throughout the province.
“We had to look at every aspect of our business with a new lens, from the time people booked, to the onboard experience and then getting them where they need to go on the other end,” Wetsch said. “We did come across some road blocks along the way in accessing supplies like masks and plexiglass and ensuring staff could retain benefits. It took our entire team working around the clock to come up with innovative solutions on how to ensure health and safety of everyone while getting people where they need to go.
“We know that returning to operations is not a return to normal. As we begin to look towards the future, we are working hard to ensure that we are providing the safe, essential travel services people have counted on for the past 38 years.”
In recognition of Tourism Week, May 24 to 30, 2020, the B.C. government is highlighting the many individuals and organizations that work in the tourism industry who have shifted their businesses to adapt to the new public health orders and advice as a result of COVID-19.