Nordair’s First Boeing 737 – A Jet for All Seasons
The importance of Nordair’s place in Canadian aviation history is certainly worth noting. The Quebec based airline operated from 1947 until 1987 when it was acquired by Canadian Pacific Air Lines. Nordair pioneered and developed many routes and services during its fourty year history that expanded air service to remote areas in Canada. I also think that it must have been the first airline in Canada with a bilingual name.
My own first airplane ride was on a Nordair B737 from Montreal to Freeport, Bahamas in 1975. Alan began his career as an aircraft technician with Nordair before joining Air Canada. When I mentioned my topic for this issue, Alan sent me the following comment and link to a very informative YouTube video.
“The B737's operated by Nordair were heavily utilized sometimes traveling from the Arctic to a southern charter destination on the same day being converted from Cargo/PAX to all PAX using quick conversion kits.” Click Here to watch the fifteen-minute video which demonstrates the conversion Alan refers to.
The aircraft in the video is registration CF-NAB (Boeing line number 84) was the first B737 delivered to Nordair on October 28, 1968. It was absorbed into the CP Air and later C.A.I.L. fleets (as C-FNAB) in 1987. It was acquired by TAT (Transport Aérien Transrégional) of France in 1989 and remained in service (as F-GGPA) until TAT ceased operating in 1995. After a brief lease to Air Asia it was acquired by Air Méditerranée (as F-GOAF) in 1997 where it seems to have still been in service until 2005. Airfleets.net shows the aircraft currently stored in Romania. Click Here for another YouTube video of the same aircraft taking off in Air Méditerranée livery (I have not been able to confirm the airport or date).
While researching this article I came across Nordair timetable and route maps at Airtimes.com.