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Follow the Whirly Birds to Victoria,
Seattle, Vancouver and Fraser Valley
by Jerry W. Bird, Photos by Ed Anderson

Jerry W. Bird(Article to be updated Aug, 2002)
During the Burma Shave era, when billboards and rhyming roadside messages were in full bloom across the countryside, the advertising slogan one would see leading into BC from its neighbouring provinces and states was " Follow the Birds to Victoria." These posters and painted bulletins with the familiar seagulls, conjured up all sorts of images to entice the vacation bound traveller. Today, after years of receiving requests about Helijet Airways from readers from Southern California to Africa, I would change the slogan a little. To salute Canada's unique helicopter airline, how about, "Follow the Whirly Birds to Victoria." But I would also add Seattle, Vancouver, Langley and Abbotsford.

Being a key sponsor of Air Highways Journal and Supermap, providing thousands of our magazines to their upscale customers, Helijet Airways is always on the top of our minds. We love to hear good news from them - and about them. The Langley - Abbotsford Fraser Valley service was music to our ears, and we will speak about it more in the update on this article. Helijet also considers the return of scheduled service between Vancouver and Whistler

"Our charter division also occupies a dominant position in the movie, film and photography industries in British Columbia", President Danny Sitnam said. Helijet's fleet of 15 aircraft comprises seven turbine-powered Sikorsky S-76s that operate on the scheduled flights and eight smaller helicopters used for charter. Web site:

Footloose in
Air Harbour
Airport Services
Malkin Bowl
Robson Street
Stanley Park
West End

This article is
scheduled to be
updated in mid
August 2002





















Our Trip on Helijet's Super City Route
by Jerry W. Bird

So you've seen Canada's *Salt Water City from every direction since the days of street cars and 10 cent beer - right? So your Love Boat's Alaska bound tomorrow, leaving you half a day to cruise the streets of Vancouver? So it's your first trip to the West Coast, and you're ripe for suggestions? So you want to maximize your business day by covering 5 key cities? Whatever the scenario, as Al Jolson used to say -"you ain't seen nuthin' yet." Helijet Airways' eye-in-the-sky is the ultimate in flight-seeing, with Vancouver, the Gulf Islands, Victoria and Northwest Washington State at your feet in one delicious package! Short and sweet, harbor-to-harbor in 35 scenic minutes, leaving loads of time for work or play. Let me describe my initial flight with Helijet."

We found the Helijet experience uplifting, laid back, hassle-free and user friendly; but rather than sit back and relax, my inner child took charge. I was all eyes, in eager anticipation, as minute-by- minute the scene unfolded. Hovering above the helipad next to Vancouver's Canada Place (Five Sails-Pan Pacific -Cruise Terminal), we suddenly swooped upward like Mary Poppins, aiming for Coal Harbour's Waterfront Development site and Lions Gate bridge, with BC Rail's Royal Hudson, Park Royal Mall and Ambleside Beach off to the right; skirting Stanley Park's sea wall, Prospect Point, Lumberman's Arch and the beaches of English Bay, its harbor dotted with craft of every type.

Eagle's eye view: In a wink, we were skimming above the treetops of UBC campus, the Museum of Anthropology and Thunderbird Stadium to the mouth of the Fraser River. Here tiny tugboats flitted about like water beetles, nudging a flotilla of log booms that lined the muddy banks . Approaching for a brief touch down at Vancouver International Airport, we could see its brand new terminal (just out of the gift box), and new runways in various stages of completion. Taking off from Sea Island, our Sikorsky S-76 soared above Steveston Village home of one of the BC. Cannery National Historic Site, and base for a fleet of fishing trawlers. This Richmond community is our top spot to buy the catch of the day right off the boat.

As we swept by the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, and Roberts Bank, the Gulf islands appeared on the horizon, and in minutes we spotted the Sidney Ferry Terminal, serving Victoria (a fraction of the time it would take by sea). Before long, the British Columbia Legislative Buildings and downtown Victoria's loomed ahead as we circled for a touch down on the Inner Harbor. Our trip was topped off by a free shuttle to the mother of all hotels... Victoria's enchanting Empress. So that was it- from one city center to another in 35 enjoyable minutes. The return trip provided us an other angle on a spectacular experience. Small wonder its so popular with the corporate and business class. And as for tourism possibilities, with charters and convention add-ons? -- you aint seen nuthin' yet!

Our travel agent friends who want to do their clients a real service should book a Helijet Alaska Cruise Extension Package. Speaking of convenience, Helijet's pad is right next to the Canada Place Cruise ship Terminal. Golf excursions to Whistler (voted top year round resort by Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous) and Powell River's Myrtle Point club, are a popular group charter option, as are a variety of great fishing packages.

Born at Expo '86: At a World's Fair that focused on the marvels of transportation, Helijet Airways Inc., earned its mark as North America's first scheduled airline to use helicopters exclusively. Its proud fleet of jet helicopters provides fast, frequent harbor-to-harbor service between BC's two major population centers 7 days a week.

As this Equity item reveals, "...There were those in 1986 who said that Danny Sitnam's concept of a helicopter shuttle between Vancouver and Victoria would never get off the ground. They were wrong. Today, Helijet Airways operates from the position of market leader and flies customers in style with a fleet of Sikorsky S-76s. The S-76 is a powerful, sexy machine, with a comfortable seating for as many as twelve and a flight time to Victoria of 35 minutes. " For business and pleasure, there are now over 30 flights every weekday, plus weekends. The company serves over 100,000 passengers annually, from its three well-appointed locations, each with lounge areas, free coffee and telephone calls.

For details contact your Travel Agent or: Helijet Airways Inc., Vancouver (604) 273-1414; Victoria (604) 382-6222; 1-800-665-4354 (outside BC) Web site:

(*Salt Water City- early Chinese name for Vancouver)

Feature on Seattle, another Helijet destination.