Calm Air began operations in Churchill, Manitoba’s Arctic Seaport in 1975. A year later, Calm Air took over Transair’s Twin Otter operations in the Keewatin and, with the construction of Calm Air’s facility at the Rankin Inlet airport, the Keewatin gained its first truly year-round resident airline service. It was during this period that Calm Air acquired its first Hawker Siddeley 748 aircraft, which offered increased capacity and comfort in a warm, pressurized environment. The Hawker’s ability to carry over 40 passengers, or 12,500 lbs of freight or a combination of both allowed Calm Air the versatility to meet the needs of Churchill and the Keewatin communities. A substantial freight operation from Churchill developed with DC-4 servicing Cullaton Lake mine in the early 80s with the opening of the Cullaton Lake Gold Mine, west of Eskimo Point, NWT (known today as Arviat, Nunavut). Calm Air acquired two DC-4 aircraft to meet the year-round demand for cargo and fuel transportation from Churchill to the mine. While the mine did close in 1985, its operation was a significant factor in Calm Air’s growth during that period. A second HS748 aircraft was added to the fleet in 1983.
Calm Air moved its Head Office in the spring of 1985 to Thompson, Manitoba, the "Hub of the North", where it is still headquartered today. A large aircraft hangar and cargo facility was constructed at the Thompson airport to house the base of Calm Air’s maintenance department and to support its growing cargo operation. Today, Thompson is still home to Calm Air’s Head Office and maintenance headquarters, and Calm Air is the second largest employer in the City.
During this time, Calm Air was the first carrier to sign a joint scheduling and marketing agreement with Pacific Western Airlines, under the “Pacific Western Spirit” commuter program. Commencing service to Winnipeg enabled the carrier to offer enhanced frequencies and connections between the Keewatin, Northern Manitoba and the south. In 1987, as a full-service partner with the newly-formed Canadian Airlines, Calm Air was able to offer a sophisticated reservation system and access to the global community. Additions to the fleet of more Hawker Siddeley 748 and Navajo Chieftain aircraft were made to meet the ever-increasing passenger and cargo needs in the both the Keewatin and Northern Manitoba.
The purchase of the Swedish-built Saab 340B Plus aircraft in 1994 brought modern luxury to Calm Air fleet, with its inaugural service taking flight on January 15, 1995 between Winnipeg, The Pas, Flin Flon and Thompson. Calm Air was the first Canadian carrier to operate this new 34-seat aircraft type, and the first carrier In North America to operate the upgraded B Plus model. The late 1990s saw Calm Air venturing into new territories of Northern Ontario and Saskatchewan, for which more SAAB aircraft were added to the fleet.
On April 8th, 2009 Calm Air was purchased by the Exchange Industrial Income Fund (EIIF), recently becoming the Exchange Industrial Corporation (EIC). In order to meet the criteria for the purchase established by EIIF, Calm Air was deemed a successful company with long term goals whose current management is committed to future growth.
The EIC is a Canadian corporation who, in addtion to Calm Air, also owns Perimeter Aviaition, Keewatin Air and Bearskin Airlines along with manufacturing companies in Canada and the United States.
The Calm Air fleet Includes the following aircraft (as of October 17, 2010)
1 Cessna 208B: C-FSKS
2 ATR 42-300: C-FMAK, C-FCIJ
3 ATR 42-320: C-FJYW, C-FJYV, C-FECI
2 ATR 72-202: C-FULE, C-FCRZ
1 Hawker Siddeley HS 748 2A: C-FAMO
1 Hawker Siddeley HS 748 2B: C-GHSC
6 Saab 340B/340B WT: C-FTJV, C-FTJW, C-GTJY, C-FTLW, C-FSPB, C-GMNM
Canadian Airline Blog
Calm Air ATR-42
Tue, Feb 8 2011 6:18 PM
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