Risk & Business Magazine Waypoint Winter 2021 - Page 12



From Humble Beginnings to Global Leader in Service and Sustainability

Greg McDougall founded

Harbour Air in 1982 after the recession pushed him out of his former employment as a pilot . The company started with just two airplanes , catering to the forest and other resource-based industries . McDougall jokingly refers to this time as the “ Wild West ” of the float plane business .
It wasn ’ t until 1986 when the World Expo brought tourist attention to British Columbia ( BC ) that the company got its start in passenger flying . With international exposure and the new opportunities that followed came rapid growth .
The company ’ s revised business plan was to take seaplane aviation and make it an integral part of the transportation industry in BC . McDougall was determined to “ make it sophisticated and take it out of the bush .”
The fresh idea was quickly polished and infused with safety culture , changing the way Harbour Air was perceived and used by the general public .
BUILDING A BOLD REPUTATION Harbour Air has since established its reputation on innovation and extreme customer satisfaction . The airline caters carefully to all walks of life , from students to seniors to corporate representatives . All of the factors that enhance the experience for its passengers are items the company is consistently working on . Touch points like onboarding and the Harbour Air mobile application are attended to on a regular basis and routinely refined to better the customer experience .
The atmosphere at Harbour Air is sublime inside and out . Those whom the company has managed to surround itself with are capable , enthusiastic , and proactive people that have worked to develop a focus around safety , innovation , and constant improvement . The team is never satisfied with the status quo ; everyone is always striving to do better . It ’ s a team goal to have guests notice their experience is more enriched each time they fly with Harbour Air .
Taking this approach not only serves the customer experience but it also keeps the team at Harbour Air motivated and engaged in what they are doing . The company staff are always enthusiastic about developing these outlets and creating a better environment for everyone on the plane , at the airport , and beyond .
A peek behind the curtain at Harbour Air will fill you in on the culture that fuels this delightful setting .
A big part of the Harbour Air culture is doing the right thing and helping one another , which shines through every day in the team ’ s smiling faces and willingness to go that extra mile for clients and fellow teammates alike .
Harbour Air staff are so content in their roles , in part , because they are empowered . Each employee has the ability to make many decisions autonomously using his or her best judgement . In many cases , this is done without oversight from upper management . Being given that sense of responsibility speaks volumes to both the airline staff and passengers .
The company receives an immense amount of positive feedback from customers relating how pleasantly surprised they were by their journey across the water . McDougall says he ’ s proud of