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B.C. Ferries to fly passengers between Powell River and Comox

Feb 10 2012

B.C. Ferries has run out of ships. Over the coming week, the corporation will take to the air to move people between Powell River and Comox.

A Pacific Coastal Airways aircraft has been chartered to ferry passengers stranded in the two coastal towns by the breakdown of the Queen of Burnaby, which is going to drydock for repairs to a propeller hub.

B.C. Ferries has flown passengers before, but it happens on "extremely rare" occasions, spokeswoman Deborah Marshall said.

The problem with the Queen of Burnaby occurred as many other vessels were in for regular refit, she said.

The North Island Princess, a much smaller vessel that normally runs between Powell River and Texada Island, will go into service between Powell River and Comox for two round trips each day, she said.

Those who need to get across the strait for medical needs will have priority on the flight. Any other seats will to go to others as long as they make reservations.

Those who fly will pay the regular B.C. Ferries fare.

The Queen of Burnaby is expected to be back in service by late next week.

Reservations for the charter flights can be made by calling 1-877-222-1949.

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