Bearskin Airlines

tmb bearskin emblemThis Canadian airline was established in 1963 by bush pilot Otto John Hegland and started operations in July 1963 from its base at Big Trout Lake, Ontario (but was named after Bearskin Lake where Hegland had a general store).

It started out by providing only charter services to the remote First Nations reserves in northern Ontario, using bush planes equipped with floats in the summer and skis in the winter. In 1977, it began its first regular scheduled flights between Big Trout Lake and Sioux Lookout.

Following the collapse of NorOntair in 1996, Bearskin picked up over two thirds of that carrier's routes, thereby adding scheduled service to all the major northern Ontario cities. Three years later, it expanded operations to destinations in northern Manitoba. In 2003, it sold its routes and assets servicing northern First Nations communities to Wasaya Airways. This marked as a break with its bush flying background to focus on becoming a regional carrier.

It was owned by Harvey Friesen (President), Cliff Friesen (Executive Vice-President), Karl Friesen (Vice President of Operations), Rick Baratta (Vice President of Finance) and Brad Martin (Director of Operations), but in 2010 it was sold to Exchange Income Corporation (EIC) for $32 million. EIC also owns Calm Air, Perimeter Aviation, and Keewatin Air.

As of April 1, 2014, all service at Region of Waterloo Airport (YKF) and Ottawa Airport (YOW) was cancelled, affecting seven routes and significantly decreased the flight operations. The company indicated that a softening mining sector and high tech sectors (such as BlackBerry) were to blame for cutting the routes. Additional factors included the introduction of new competitors (such as Porter Airlines).

The company indicated it's refocusing on northwestern and northeastern routes in Northern Ontario. Bearskin is a major provider of flights for Hope Air, a charity that organizes free non-emergency medical flights for people in financial need, particularly from remote communities. The fleet consists of 19 Fairchild Swearingen Metroliners. 


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Skytrax revealed its 2021 World Airline Awards, naming Qatar Airways as the number one airline for the sixth time.

Awards were based on over 13 million surveys collected over 23 months, combing normal travel and pandemic travel. No North American airline ranked in the top 20, though Delta Air Lines held the highest position at number 30.

Qatar Airways took home the gold for the sixth time since 2001, following by Singapore Airlines in second and Japan-based All Nippon Airways in third.

Qatar also secured five other awards, including Best Business Class, Best Business Class Seat, Best Airline in the Middle East, World's Best Business Class Airline Lounge, and Best Business Class Onboard Catering.

Here's a list of the world's top 20 airlines for 2021.

1 - Qatar Airways, 2 - Singapore Airlines, 3 -  All Nippon Airways, 4 - Emirates, 5 - Japan Airlines, 6 - Cathay Pacific Airways, 7 - EVA Air, 8 - Qantas Airways, 9 - Hainan Airlines, 10 - Air France, 11 - British Airways, 12 -China Southern Airlines, 13 - Lufthansa, 14 - Aeroflot Russian Airlines, 15 - Garuda Indonesia, 16 - KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, 17 - Turkish Airlines, 18 - Swiss International Air Lines, 19 - Bangkok Airways, 20 - Air New Zealand.

Ranking of airlines of Canada.

33 - Air Canada, 53 - WestJet, 59  - Air Transat, 83  - Air Canada Rouge, 94 - Porter Airlines.


tmb transair 737 hnlA team of National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators is on its way to Hawaii to supervise the recovery of TransAir Flight 810, a Boeing 737-200 that ditched in the ocean on July 2. Both pilots were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard and Honolulu Airport Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting personnel.

The recovery operation is scheduled to begin Oct. 9 and is expected to take 10 to 14 days. Plans include raising the aft fuselage section (with the wings still attached), loading it onto a barge, and then removing the recorders.

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