Hullo celebrates milestone of 250,000 passengers 9 months after launch

Hullo celebrates milestone of 250,000 passengers 9 months after launch
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Hullo file photo.

Vancouver Island-based Hullo is patting itself on the back, saying it’s welcomed more than 250,000 guests and had only minimal sailing cancellations nine months after launching its fast ferries between Nanaimo and Vancouver.

Hullo first set sail last August and has delivered more than 95 per cent of all scheduled sailings since then, according to a news release. Scheduled sailings in April cruised in at 100 per cent, with no cancellations that month, something the company says is worth celebrating.

“Our commitment to safety and reliability is clear in our excellent performance in sailing to our schedule and departing on time. We are extremely confident that our sailing reliability will get even better,” said Alastair Caddick, Hullo’s CEO.

In the past, adverse weather, technical issues and power outages were to blame for cancellations, but the company managed to keep things afloat and achieve what it’s calling “significant achievements” in “fast, easy and reliable” travel.

The Vancouver Island Ferry Company is behind Hullo, which has two walk-on vessels, spuhĂ©ls (spah-els) and sthuqi’ (sta-key), sailing multiple times daily between the Harbour City and downtown Vancouver.

READ ALSO: ‘Didn’t believe it’: Disabled Nanaimo woman waiting for Hullo Ferries to allow power wheelchairs

It says it gets passengers to either destination in about 70 minutes, with “Hot Summer Nights with Hullo” sailings departing the mainland as late as 12 a.m.

“Our rapid expansion and overwhelming support from both locals and visitors demonstrate the demand for our reliable service and the positive impact we’re making on the region,” said Caddick.

Calling the Island home

Since launching, Hullo has grown from eight to 100 employees, and according to the company, 80 per cent of the workforce lives on Vancouver Island. Along with creating jobs, Caddick says the ferries also help boost the local economy.

“We’re proud to have a dedicated team that call the Island home, reflecting our commitment to supporting the local community, creating jobs and ensuring our crew achieve a healthy work-life balance,” he added.

Hullo is also in a long-term partnership with the Snuneymuxw First Nation, according to a post on the ferry company’s website.

“Empowering Islanders with a friendly and reliable ferry service while supporting the local economy is exactly what we set out to do, and it’s rewarding to see Hullo being so warmly embraced by our communities,” said the Nation’s Chief Mike Wyse.

Earlier this year, Hullo announced it would expand sailings and take luggage starting in March. A one-way pass costs up to $59.99, and while pets, strollers, car seats, and carry-on baggage are free to bring on board, large luggage is $25 extra.

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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