Integra Air steps in to operate suspended Orca Airways' flights

Integra Air steps in to operate suspended Orca Airways’ flights

VANCOUVER — Calgary-based Integra Air is stepping in to operate Orca Airways flights after Transport Canada pulled Orca’s operator certificate on Thursday citing a failure to meet regulatory requirements.

“Integra Air is currently in the process of negotiating aircraft, crews and management to support Orca Airways and prevent any further interruption to Orca passengers and customers,” said Integra CEO John Macek in a press release.

The two companies have already been working toward a merger for months, including shifting Orca’s Air Operator’s Certificate over to Integra, said Macek.

The Transport Canada suspension is disruptive, but the company plans to have operations back to normal shortly, he said.

“The suspension of their AOC by Transport Canada – Pacific Region, although untimely, should have only a short-term, minor impact on our ability to provide Orca’s existing customers and passengers the level of safety, reliability and outstanding customer service they deserve,” Macek said.

Transport Canada’s statement Thursday said it has “identified several areas where the company is not meeting regulatory requirements including maintenance, operational control, documentation and quality assurance.”

The federal agency said it will not allow Orca to resume commercial service “until it proves it can keep its operations consistently compliant with aviation safety regulations.”

It said it will continue to monitor the company’s actions as it works toward compliance with safety regulations.

Orca spokeswoman Lynda Kaye said Integra will take over flights between Vancouver and Tofino, B.C., while there could be a delay on resuming flights between Vancouver and Qualicum Beach, B.C.

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