Bearskin Airlines

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Bearskin Airlines
Bearskin Airlines Logo.svg
IATA
JV
ICAO
BLS
Callsign
BEARSKIN
FoundedJuly 17, 1963
Hubs
Focus citiesSudbury Airport
Frequent-flyer programAeroplan
Fleet size16
Destinations18[1]
Company sloganLet the Bear take you there!
Parent companyExchange Income Corporation
HeadquartersSioux Lookout, Ontario
Key peopleJohn Hegland, Founder
Websitewww.bearskinairlines.com
 
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Bearskin Airlines
Bearskin Airlines Logo.svg
IATA
JV
ICAO
BLS
Callsign
BEARSKIN
FoundedJuly 17, 1963
Hubs
Focus citiesSudbury Airport
Frequent-flyer programAeroplan
Fleet size16
Destinations18[1]
Company sloganLet the Bear take you there!
Parent companyExchange Income Corporation
HeadquartersSioux Lookout, Ontario
Key peopleJohn Hegland, Founder
Websitewww.bearskinairlines.com

Bearskin Lake Air Service LP, operating as Bearskin Airlines, is a regional airline based in Sioux Lookout, Ontario, Canada. It operates services in northern Ontario and Manitoba. Its main bases are Sioux Lookout Airport (YXL) and Thunder Bay International Airport (YQT), with a hub at Greater Sudbury Airport (YSB).[2]

History[edit]

Bearskin Airlines' Metroliner

The 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.[3]

From then on, other scheduled flights were progressively added, first to Thunder Bay, followed by Kenora and Winnipeg. This was also the period when the Government of Ontario began constructing new airfields that would make the northern communities accessible year-round. Therefore in the late 1970s to the early 1980s, Bearskin made the transition of bush planes to wheeled commuter planes.[3]

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.[3]

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. Bearskin has 240 employees.[2]

Destinations[edit]

Bearskin Metroliner at dusk

Bearskin Airlines operates services to the following Canadian domestic scheduled destinations:[1]

Routes[edit]

Bearskin Metroliner interior
Leaving From:Going To:
DrydenKenora, Red Lake, Sioux Lookout, Fort Frances, Thunder Bay, Winnipeg
Flin Flon

(Ending March 2014)

Lynn Lake, The Pas, Winnipeg
Fort FrancesKenora, Dryden, Thunder Bay, Winnipeg
KapuskasingNorth Bay, Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Timmins
KenoraDryden, Fort Frances, Sioux Lookout, Thunder Bay, Winnipeg
Kitchener/WaterlooOttawa
Lynn Lake

(Ending March 2014)

Flinn Flon, The Pas, Winnipeg
North BayKapuskasing, Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Timmins
OttawaKapuskasing, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Timmins, Waterloo
Red LakeDryden, Sioux Lookout, Thunder Bay, Winnipeg
Sault Ste. MarieKapuskasing, North Bay, Ottawa, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Timmins
Sioux LookoutDryden, Kenora, Red Lake, Thunder Bay, Winnipeg
SudburyKapuskasing, North Bay, Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, Timmins
The Pas

(Ending March 2014)

Flin Flon, Lynn Lake, Winnipeg
Thunder BayDryden, Fort Frances, Kapuskasing, Kenora, North Bay, Ottawa, Red Lake, Sault Ste. Marie, Sioux Lookout, Sudbury, Timmins, Winnipeg
TimminsKapuskasing, North Bay, Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay
WinnipegDryden, Flin Flon, Fort Frances, Kenora, Lynn Lake, Red Lake, Sioux Lookout, The Pas, Thunder Bay

As of September 19, 2010 Bearskin launched a five-times-per-day service from the Regional Municipality of Waterloo to Ottawa and a five-trip return each day.

Fleet[edit]

The Bearskin Airlines fleet includes the following aircraft (as of June 2012):[4][5]

Bearskin Airlines Fleet
AircraftIn FleetPassengersNotes
Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner1619

Previously operated[edit]

Bearskin Airlines has flown the following aircraft in the past:[3]

Affinity programs[edit]

The airline offers Aeroplan rewards points, both to collect and to redeem.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Reservations
  2. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-03-27. p. 84. 
  3. ^ a b c d Bearskin Airlines, Bear Country: Special 45th Anniversary Issue, 2008, ISBN D702544
  4. ^ Bearskin Airlines aircraft
  5. ^ Transport Canada listing of aircraft owned by "Bearskin Airlines" (enter Bearskin Lake Air Service LP in the box titled "Owner Name")
  6. ^ Report Number A95H0008
  7. ^ "Record 19971204-0" at Aviation Safety Net
  8. ^ "Record 20030129-0" at Aviation Safety Net
  9. ^ [1] at Aviation Herald
  10. ^ "Record 20131110-0" at Aviation Safety Net
  11. ^ "Aviation Investigation A13C0150 Bearskin Airlines flight 311". Transportation Safety Board of Canada. Retrieved 2014 01 12. 

External links[edit]