Planning a visit to Sointula? You have a few options for getting to Malcolm Island. You could fly into either Seattle or Vancouver, rent a car, and take the ferry to Vancouver Island. From there, you’ll need to drive to the north coast of the island to catch another ferry to Malcolm Island. You could also road trip all the way there from your home. But the fastest — as well as perhaps the most fun — way to travel to Sointula is by air. Flights to Malcolm Island won’t have you climbing aboard a commercial airline or even a small charter plane. Instead, you’ll be arriving by seaplane.

Seaplanes are small aircraft that have long floats instead of landing gear, and take off, float, and land on water rather than on a runway. Because Malcolm Island doesn’t have an airport, seaplanes offer the only option for flying to and from Sointula.

On your way to the island, you’ll enjoy stunning views of Vancouver Island and the British Columbia coast. If you’ll be fishing or going whale watching during your visit, this is a fun way to see the coast and waterways that you’ll soon be exploring by boat. 

Ready to start planning your next visit? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about flights to Malcolm Island.

Booking Seaplane Flights to Sointula

If you’re ready to start your adventure early, seaplane flights to Sointula are a great way to do so. Northwest Seaplanes is the top option for flights to Malcolm Island. They operate seaplane flights out of the Seattle area, connecting the city to a variety of destinations along British Columbia’s coast, including Sointula.

This airline is based on the shores of South Lake Washington, on the Renton Airport. This is just a short drive from downtown Seattle, as well as downtown Bellevue and the Seattle Airport. The company even offers a complimentary shuttle between their airport and the Seattle Airport. Those driving to the Renton Airport can also enjoy free on-site parking.

Northwest Seaplanes offer two options for flights by seaplane to Sointula BC; chartered flights and scheduled flights.

Chartered Seaplane Flights to Malcolm Island

Whether you’re traveling with a group, want a more private experience, or simply want to choose your flight time, a chartered seaplane flight to Sointula is a great choice. Another perk of booking chartered flights instead of scheduled flights is that they also give you the option of catching your flight from somewhere other than Seattle. For instance, Northwest Seaplanes also offers chartered flights from Tofino and Victoria. 

Scheduled Seaplane Flights to Malcolm Island

Scheduled seaplane flights to Sointula BC are also available from Northwest Seaplanes. These flights are available from mid-June to early September, coinciding with Sointula’s most popular travel season. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly alternative to a private chartered flight, these scheduled flights are a great choice.

Planning for Your Seaplane Adventure

Catching a flight to Malcolm Island is a fun way to get to and from our scenic island. But if you’ve never taken a seaplane flight before, you might be surprised to learn that there are a few extra rules and guidelines that you’ll need to know.

Getting to the Airport

Renton Airport is much smaller than your standard international or even regional airport. There is a small passenger terminal on-site with a comfortable lounge. Soda and water are available for sale, however, there are no dining options on-site. 

For international flights, it’s recommended that you arrive at the terminal 1 hour before your departure time. You will still need to clear customs before entering Canada or returning to the U.S. Just as with any flights to Canada, all guests will need a valid passport for their seaplane flight to Malcolm Island. You’ll need to head to the departure dock at least 30 to 45 minutes before your scheduled departure time. Seaplanes may adjust their flight times by 30 hours in either direction based on weather and routing.

Packing for Your Seaplane Flight

Because of their small size, operators have to be extra aware of the weight of each flight. As a result, baggage limits are much lower than what you might be used to on regular commercial flights.

Guests are asked to limit their packing to two soft-sided pieces of luggage each. The total weight of the two bags should not exceed 25 pounds per person. Baggage over the weight limit is subject to an additional charge. However, bags over the weight limit will only be allowed on the flight on a limited basis. 

If you’re planning to visit our luxury fishing lodge during your visit or enjoying a chartered fishing trip, don’t fret; extra weight is allowed for your fresh-caught fish! Fish are not included in the per-passenger 25-pound weight limit. Instead, each guest is allowed up to 80 pounds of fish on their flight back. Keep in mind that your fish will need to be properly packed and individually bagged. If you book a trip with Sointula Lodge, this will be done for you before the end of your visit.

Booking Your Seaplane Flights to Sointula

Flying to Sointula by seaplane is a fun way to get to your vacation destination fast. Booking seaplane flights to Malcolm Island is a breeze. But before you book your flight, make sure to lock in your hotel, vacation rental, or lodge stay. Check out our planning resources to find the perfect place to stay during your visit!