Greater Seattle-based Kenmore Air and Vancouver B.C.’s Harbour Air are launching a new service between the two high tech regions beginning April 26, boosting the opportunity for business, research and tourism. The service will be welcomed by the high-tech communities that reside on both sides of the border. Currently, driving from the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, which already has a large presence in the Canadian city, to Vancouver, B.C. takes approximately three hours, depending on traffic, with often unpredictable border wait times.
Microsoft has been a leading voice in the need for high-speed travel between Greater Seattle and Vancouver, contributing $50,000 to supplement the state of Washington’s $300,000 budget to study a plan for fast trains. The British Columbia government will also contribute $300,000 to a study of corridor service — which would extend to Portland.
According to the International Trade Administration, Canada is Washington state’s 2nd largest export customer and our number one import partner as of 2017.
“This new direct seaplane route between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., will be an important link in connecting the Cascadia Innovation Corridor,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a news release. According to Kenmore Air President Todd Banks, “[w]ith approximately 20,000 annual passengers currently traveling between Seattle and Victoria, we’re confident this new route will support the growing demand for further cross-border travel.”
About the Cascadia Innovation Corridor
In 2016, British Columbia and Washington state formed the Cascadia Innovation Corridor, a collaboration between business, academic and government leaders on both sides of the border working together to promote the region as a hub for innovation and research. According to Microsoft news, “the Corridor boasts world-renowned research organizations and global corporate leaders in a diverse array of existing and emerging technology disciplines, including aviation and aeronautics; software development; cloud computing; online retailing; big data transmission, storage and analysis; the Internet of things; mobile communications; biotechnology and the life sciences; and global health.”