Norcanair could trace its history back to M&C Aviation of 1930. From 1947 it was known as Saskatchewan Government Airways (Saskair). The fleet was a mixed bag typical of Canadian bush operators - PBY Cansos, Beech 18s, DC-3s, DHC-2 Beavers etc. Scheduled services operated to over 20 destinations within the state from its base at Prince Albert. Privatised in 1964 it became Norcanair serving charters and north-south scheduled services in Saskatchewan.
In 1970 the first DHC-6s arrived followed two years later by the first F-27. It acquired the Prince Albert-Regina service from Transair but strikes in 1979 led to its sale - once again to the provincial government in 1981. Political turmoil however led to its sale in 1982 into private hands and it was merged with High-Line Airways but kept the Norcanair name.
World Airline Fleets in 1983 has the fleet as: 4 DHC-2 Beavers, 2 DHC-3s, 2 DHC-6s, 1 DC-3, 3 F-27s, a few Cessnas and a YS-11. The ex-Piedmont YS-11 was leased for a short while before re-equipment with EMB-110s and Convair 640s in 1984, and further expansion was on the cards. During late 1985 the airline became an international carrier when it announced service to Minneapolis from Regina and for this route a pair of F28 jets were purchased (C-GTEO and C-GTUU). Interprovincial routes also served Edmonton and Lloydminster.
The arrival of C-GTEO saw a new colourscheme introduced with a lovely pale blue roof and deep blue windowline. In 1987 Norcanair signed up with CP Air as a feeder from Calgary and at that point consolidation in the industry was rife as CP Air/PWA and Air Canada began to sign up and merge feeders across Canada. In March 1987 Norcanair was taken over by Time Air in which PWA had a 45% stake and a name with much tradition disappeared.
GTEO was previously I-TIDI delivered in 1970 to Itavia and later Unifly. By 1987 Norcanair was affiliated with CP Air and in March it was absorbed into one of their other feeder airlines: Time Air. GTEO continued in service with them and their later identities of Canadian Regional and Air Canada Jazz until 2006 when she was put up for sale with 69,959 cycles on the clock.
23/7/2015 04:21:29 pm
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I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: