Dash Air is offering charter service within Washington state but hasn’t committed to dates for scheduled passenger service yet.
“These are not scheduled flights yet,” said Clint Ostler, president of Dash Air Shuttle. “It’s just like Rite Brothers. You can schedule a charter for any time and we can accommodate whatever you need, as long as we have an airplane available.”
The company uses a twin-engine Cessna 303 capable of carrying five passengers and a Cessna 402 capable of carrying nine passengers.
Ostler said passengers will contact the airline, give dates and how many people will be flying and then Backcountry Aviation will decide which aircraft to use, see who else needs to go to the same place at the same time, and try to fill the plane. Then the cost would be forthcoming.
Dash Air will provide a complimentary shuttle within 10 miles of Boeing Field, which is 8.5 miles from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Dash Air is not a carrier, but rather the marketing and ticket entity of Backcountry Aviation, based in Albany, Ore., which is the actual operator of the aircraft.
Backcountry Aviation’s Facebook page has the following post: “We’re hiring Pilots! Backcountry Aviation and Dash Air Shuttle are building a new regional airline to restore air service in the Northwest. Starting operations this Spring, we’re seeking skilled and motivated pilots to join us. You’ll be flying piston twins between Port Angeles (CLM) and Seattle (SEA).”
Marc Abshire, executive director at Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce, said air service is a huge economic driver for the area.
“The port recognizes that as well and so has the chamber,” Abshire said. “We had air service before, but we lost it 10 years ago,” he added, referring to Kenmore Air, which stopped providing service in 2014.
“This makes it very convenient for our residents to get to Seattle, especially with the upcoming fish barrier projects,” Abshire said.
“Every hurdle has been thrown at Dash,” he added.
“It’s just been challenging for them, through no fault of their own. They are well-intended and determined. They really want to make this happen. We’re getting close, although I realize we’ve been saying that for years,” he said.
Kenmore Air Express began flying routes out of Port Angeles in June 2005. The division of Seattle-based Kenmore Air offered five daily round trips, seven days a week, between Port Angeles and Boeing Field. It also offered free shuttle service to and from Boeing Field to the check-in level of Sea-Tac International Airport.
The airline stopped providing service on Nov. 15, 2014.
Port Angeles had lost its only scheduled airline passenger service following Horizon Air’s last flight on Jan. 6, 2004. The airline flew to Sea-Tac International Airport from Port Angeles, offering the only regularly scheduled service for Clallam and Jefferson counties.
Airline officials said at the time they were stopping the service because the four daily round-trip flights averaged only 44 percent full, well below Horizon’s system-wide average of 63 percent.
Anacortes-based San Juan Airlines began flying to and from Port Angeles on Jan. 7, 2004. The company provided six round-trip flights daily between Port Angeles and Boeing Field for 16 months.
To book a charter flight on Dash Air, go to flydashair.com/charters.