DA.C - View Single Post - Transair (Canada, 1947-1979)
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Yellowknife, NT
Posts: 197
Default Transair (Canada, 1947-1979)

In 2012, Air Canada celebrated their 75th Anniversary. People who flew the airline that year might remember a huge foldout wall poster in their inflight magazine that documented all of the great former airlines that were purchased by Air Canada over the years to help make it what it is today.

It was fantastic to be able to look back through all the great Canadian liveries and aircraft that once graced Canadian skies. Every single one of these airlines has seen a release in 1/200 - except one.

Transair was a Winnipeg-based airline that formed as Central Northern Airways in April 1947. They started with an assortment of military surplus aircraft such as the C-46 Commando, Avro Anson, Avro York, as well as a collection of bush planes, propliners and cargo planes of the era. They merged with Arctic Wings in 1955 and changed the name to Transair. They continued to expand and grow and operated DC-3s and DC-4s through the late 50's and early 60's. By 1965, larger DC-6 and DC-7 aircraft were added and they commenced international flights.

In 1968, Transair began to introduce turboprop aircraft such as the Twin Otter, NAMC YS-11, HS748 and Vickers Viscount. They started offering feeder flights for the major Canadian airlines - CP Air and Air Canada. They purchased Midwest Airlines, also based in Winnipeg, in 1969 and added Boeing 737-200 jet airliners in 1970. Their jet fleet expanded with Fokker F28s in 1972 and Boeing 707s in 1973. At this time, they were the fourth largest airline in Canada and were offering flights to Hawaii, Carribean, Florida, Mexico, and Europe. Their Canadian destinations were spread from Toronto to Whitehorse.

Also in 1973, Transair hired North America's first female First Officer, Rosella Bjornson (born July 17, 1947 - Lethbridge, Alberta), to fly the Fokker F28. She was the first female member of the Canadian Air Line Pilots Association, International. Bjornson was also the first woman promoted to captain while flying with Canadian Airlines in 1990.

Transair was likely the first jet airline to service northern Canada as they offered direct jet service from Winnipeg to Whitehorse, Yellowknife, and even Resolute Bay. They also flew to Rankin Inlet, Repulse Bay (now Naujaat), Eskimo Point (now Arviat), Hall Beach, and Whale Cove - all located in the Northwest Territories and what is now Nunavut.

In 1977, Pacific Western Airlines bought most of Transair's shares. by 1979, Transair's routes, licences, and assets has been transferred to Pacific Western and Transair ceased to exist.

For Transair's contribution to women in aviation, for servicing the high north, for connecting Canada's cities and being one of the first to offer international travel from Canada, and for its role in Air Canada's history, not to mention it's striking yellow and brown paint scheme, I find it shocking that nobody has offered a 1/200 release of a Transair aircraft.

An Aeroclassics 1/200 Transair Boeing 707-320C would undoubtedly be one of the highlights in any "classic Canadian airliner" collection:

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