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First Air
Founded 1946
Hubs Yellowknife Airport,
Iqaluit Airport
Frequent flyer program Aeroplan
Fleet size 23[2]20[3]
Destinations 30[4]
Headquarters Kanata, Ontario[5]
Key people Scott Bateman President & C.E.O / Bill Thompson

Vice President, Commercial Operations


Bradley Air Services Limited, operating as First Air, is an airline headquartered in Kanata, Ontario, Canada.[5] It operates services to 24 communities in Nunavut, Nunavik and the Northwest Territories. It also charters its fleet worldwide through brokers, freight forwarders and alliances with other carriers. Its main base is Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, with hubs at Iqaluit Airport and Yellowknife Airport.[6]


Code data

First Air is unusual in that it is one of the few international airlines that does not have a designated ICAO call sign.[1]


The airline was founded and started operations as Bradley Air Services in 1946 and is still registered under that name. First Air first started scheduled operations in 1973, between Ottawa and North Bay, Ontario. This service was operated with an eight seat passenger plane. Eventually, the airline would have southern gateways at Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal and Ottawa. Through Kuujjuaq, in northern Quebec, the airline provides vital services to the Inuit community, covering 16 Inuit communities with its partnership with Air Inuit. In 1995 First Air bought Ptarmigan Airways, and in 1997 it bought Northwest Territorial Airways, both of which were merged into First Air.[citation needed]

First Air is wholly owned by the Inuit people of Quebec through the Makivik Corporation, who purchased the company in 1990.[7][8]

On 21 August 2008 First Air fired president Bob Davis and replaced him with new president Scott Bateman. Davis had been president since December 1997 and had had several disagreements with First Air over a period of time[9]

On 5 June 2009 First Air received their first widebody aircraft in the form of a Boeing 767-223 SF (Super Freighter) which is under a 3 year dry lease from (CAM) Cargo Aircraft Management, Inc. A subsidiary of Air Transport Services Group (ATSG).

After the introduction of the more economical (both operationally and logistically) Boeing 767-223SF in early June, First Air will retire their 2 Boeing 727-233 aircraft in 2010. One being one of only 2 Combi types in the world, and the last 727-200 in North America on scheduled passenger/freight services. The other 727-233F full freighter has also been chosen to be phased out.


First Air operates services to the following domestic scheduled destinations (as of March 2010[4][10]):

ATR 42 at Cambridge Bay Airport
First Air HS-748 at Cambridge Bay, Nunavut
First Air Boeing 767 at Val-d'Or Airport, Quebec


The First Air fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of January 2010):[2][3]

First Air Fleet
Aircraft No. of Aircraft
(FAB list)[3]
No. of Aircraft
(TC list)[2]
Variants Notes
Aerospatiale ATR 42 9 9 ATR42-300
C-FIQR, C-FIQU, C-FTCP, C-FTJB, C-GHCP, C-GKLB, C-GSRR, C-GULU, C-GUNO. Max 42 seats, combi aircraft, ice/gravel runway capable
Hawker Siddeley HS 748 1 2 Series 2
Series 2A
C-GFNW, C-GJVN. Max 40 seats, combi aircraft, ice/gravel runway capable
Boeing 727 1 2 727-200C
C-FUFA, C-GXFA. One 200C series, max 174 seats, combi aircraft, C-GXFA is one of only 2 200C's in operation in the world, ice runway capable, one 200F series cargo aircraft only, ice runway capable
Boeing 737 6 6 737-200
C-FACP, C-FMOC, C-FNVK, C-FNVT, C-GCPT, C-GNDC, C-GNWN. Four 200C series, max 115 seats, combi aircraft, ice/gravel runway capable, two 200 series, max 99 seats, all passenger aircraft
Boeing 767 1 1 767-200SF C-GKLY. 767-223 Super Freighter, cargo aircraft only, max payload : 98 700 lbs.
L-382 Hercules 2 2 L-382G C-GHPW, C-GUSI. Cargo aircraft only, ice/gravel runway capable, First Air operates the only 2 civilian Hercules in Canada

A Douglas DC-3, C-FMOC, is still listed with Transport Canada but with its certificate cancelled.[11]


External links



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