SEATTLE — The nerd bird will fly. It will also float. Someday.
Regional airlines Kenmore Air and Harbour Air say they’re working to launch direct seaplane flights between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.
Commercial flights from Lake Union — Amazon’s doorstep and the core of Seattle’s technology scene — to Vancouver have long been on the wish list of the business communities in both cities. That’s particularly true of the clusters of technology workers looking for quicker downtown-to-downtown alternatives to the busy international airports — a drive from each downtown core.
It’s unclear when such flights might actually begin, though. An announcement on Tuesday said the airlines hope to announce the launch of the routes by the end of the year.
The venue for the announcement was the Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference, the second gathering of a Microsoft-backed effort to foster stronger ties between Washington and British Columbia.
Last year’s edition featured the leaders of the state and province signing a pledge to work on cross-border issues, among other announcements.
There were a flurry of other announcements on Tuesday, including plans to tie together research and business groups.
The Global Innovation Exchange, a graduate institute coming to Bellevue and backed by Microsoft, the University of Washington and China’s Tsinghua University, will include the University of British Columbia in its network. Separately, three technology-focused colleges in Oregon, Washington and B.C. will explore ways to work together.
Separate initiatives will seek to spur cross-border venture capital investments and startup and business incubation.