Kenn Borek Air Ltd. started with a vision by one man ... Kenn Borek. Born and raised on a farm in Stettler, AB, Borek has been described as a true pioneer. Starting with one tractor in 1955 - Borek cleared land for farmers in the Peace Country and worked with the oil industry pulling water trucks, supplies, cutting seismic lines and site preparation for drill rigs.
When the oil companies started exploring in the Arctic, Borek followed. It was while Borek was in the Arctic that he started his airline, Kenn Borek Air Ltd., in 1970 with one Twin Otter. Now owning and operating over 50 aircraft, with bases in Calgary, Iqaluit and Resolute Bay, Kenn Borek Air Ltd. provides services worldwide on all seven continents. Kenn Borek Air Ltd. is also recognized worldwide for its spectacular rescue missions, including in the Antarctic.
In April 2001, Kenn Borek Air rescued Dr. Ron Shemenski from the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. When float operations are impossible during the Canadian winter, Kenn Borek Air leases many of its planes and pilots to the Maldivian Air Taxi service.
Some of Borek’s success is attributed to his insatiable curiosity and his constant search for doing things more efficiently. Borek owned Borek Construction, Kenn Borek Air Ltd., a large farming operation, a John Deere dealership and a few hotels before his death in 2005. Yet you’d never know it by meeting him. Kenn Borek was an intensely private, humble and hard working man ... he was a man of honor and integrity.
The Super DC-3
It was in the early part of the 1990s that Millardair closed its doors. After a solid decade of hard work in Southern Ontario ‘GKG was offered for sale. Calgary based Kenn Borek Air Ltd. purchased the plane for use on a contract with Adventure Network International. This company operated tourist flights in parts of the Antarctic, a location where the DC-3 had already proven itself.
Upon its return to Canada, ‘GKG headed north to the remote community of Inuvik where another contractor, Aklak Air, had need for a freighter larger than the Twin Otter. Since then Kenn Borek has been keeping the Super DC-3 operating throughout the Western Arctic, hauling freight and competing with its older, slower brothers – the C-47.
The summer of 2006 was the swan song for ‘GKG. Kenn Borek’s new Basler Turbo DC-3 had concluded a very successful season throughout both the Western and Eastern Arctic. And unlike the radial powered Super DC-3, the new Basler plane used the same Pratt & Whitney PT6 engines as the company’s Twin Otters and King Airs. At the end of September the Super DC-3 was parked in Airdrie and advertised for sale.
The Basler BT-67 is a fixed-wing aircraft produced by Basler Turbo Conversions of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It is built on a retrofitted Douglas DC-3 airframe, with modifications designed to improve the DC-3's serviceable lifetime. The conversion includes fitting the airframe with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67R turboprop engines, lengthening the fuselage, strengthening the airframe, upgrading the avionics, and making modifications to the wings' leading edge and wing tip.
Canadian Airline Blog
Twin Otter in Anarctica
DC-3-T at McMurdo Station
Wed, Jul 27 2011 11:11 AM
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