Canadian charter airline Nolinor Aviation has re-introduced a Boeing 737-200 optimised for gravel runways that it plans to use in austere far-northern operating environments. 

The Montreal-based passenger and freight carrier disclosed on 13 February that the jet, which recently underwent a $3 million mechanical overhaul, will operate primarily in Nunavut – Canada’s northernmost territory. ”This particular model holds a unique position in the aviation industry, being the only one with a Boeing certification for gravel runway operations,” the carrier says. 

Nolinor’s president Marco Prud’Homme says that ”the 737-200 remains the optimal choice for serving the challenging northern regions”. 

Nolinor 737-200. 640px

Source: Nolinor Aviation

Nolinor says its re-introduced 737-200 shows its commitment to serving far-northern Canada 

Nolinor trimmed its fleet in response to the Covid-19 pandemic but is now back to its pre-2020 capacity, Prud’Homme adds. 

“This move comes in response to the increasing demand for efficient, robust aircraft capable of operating on gravel runways, especially amid the recent surge in mining activities in Nunavut driven by the global push towards electrification,” the company says. 

The refurbished 737-200 represents the first expansion of the carrier’s northern division in three years. It currently has six of the type in service, according to Cirium fleets data, and also flies one 737-300 variant. 

Nolinor’s narrowbody Boeing jets are all between 30 and 50 years old. The company in 2018 embarked on a project to equip its 737-200s with modern glass-cockpit avionics.

“The 737 family is uniquely equipped to operate across Canada, enabling Nolinor to fly passengers and provide essential services to remote, northern regions,” says Charles Sullivan, president of Boeing Canada. “We’ll continue to support the 737-200 though the entire life of the fleet.”

Nolinor’s charter model is based on a mix of passenger, cargo and fuel tanker operations. 

In late 2020, the company launched a leisure-oriented airline called OWG, which stands for “off we go”, in a bid for a slice of Canada’s snowbird winter travel market. OWG operates three 737-400s and one 737-800.