Kenn Borek Air

Kenn Borek Air is an airline based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It operates regional passenger and cargo services, contract operations in the Arctic and Antarctic and aircraft leasing. Its main base is at Calgary International Airport.[6] It charters aircraft for scientific expeditions, oil exploration, etc., and operates air ambulance services.

Kenn Borek Air
Kenn Borek Air logo.jpg
C-FDHB DHC6-300 Kenn Borek Air Ltd 01.JPG
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded1966 (as Vic Turner Ltd)
AOC #Canada: 2273[2]
United States: WJKF060F[3]
HubsCalgary International Airport
Fleet size38[4]
Destinations5[5] (as Aklak Air)
Parent companyKenn Borek Air Ltd.
HeadquartersCalgary, Alberta
Key peopleBrian Crocker, Operations Manager
Wallace Dobchuk, Chief Pilot


The airline was established in 1966 as Vic Turner Ltd[7] which operated a single de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter providing air support for oil exploration activities in the Canadian Arctic. Renamed Kenn Borek Air after being purchased by Borek Construction in 1971, the company acquired the Aklavik Flying Services which was founded in April 1947 by Michael Zubko operating a single Aeronca Champion at that time.[8] In 1975 Kenn Borek acquired Kenting Atlas Aviation which was established in 1947 as Atlas Aviation then renamed to Kenting Aviation in 1972.[9]

The company has been operating in Antarctica since 1985.[10]

On 26 April 2001, Kenn Borek Air used a DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft to rescue Dr. Ronald Shemenski from the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station.[10][11][12][13] This was the first ever rescue from the South Pole during polar winter.[14] To achieve the range necessary for this flight, the Twin Otter was equipped with a special ferry tank.

In 2009, the company was commissioned to recover a crashed aircraft in the Antarctic, and employees spent 25 days in a makeshift camp to complete the project.[10]

The airline was used by the BBC during the filming of the documentary Frozen Planet (2011), which was narrated by David Attenborough, and one of its planes is seen in portions of the footage.

In June 2016 the company assisted in removing two sick workers from Antarctica during the polar winter. Two Twin Otter aircraft were used and successfully completed the mission.[15] The crew, Capt. Wally Dobchuk, first officer Sebastian Trudel and maintenance engineer Michael McCrae were honoured for their heroism by Aviation Week.[16]


Kenn Borek Air offers a full service overhaul maintenance hangar in Calgary with routine maintenance being completed wherever the aircraft is located.


Kenn Borek Air - King Air 200 C-FEKB

As of September 2019 Kenn Borek operates scheduled services to several communities in the Northwest Territories as Aklak Air:[5]


Loading at Cambridge Bay

As of December 2019, Kenn Borek Air has the following aircraft registered with Transport Canada.[4]

Kenn Borek Air
Aircraft No. of aircraft Variants Notes
Beechcraft 1900 3 1900D
Beechcraft Super King Air 4 Model B200, Model B200GT
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 21 DHC-6 Series 100, DHC-6 Series 300
Douglas DC-3 9 DC-3C, DC-3A-S1C3G, DC3C-S4C4G Three are piston engine and six are Basler BT-67 turboprops
Viking Air DHC-6 1 Series 400

The Transport Canada list includes a DHC-6 Twin Otter[17] both with cancelled certificates.

Accidents and incidentsEdit

  • On 28 February 1977, Douglas C-47A C-FIQR crashed near Saglone, Quebec.[18]
  • On 23 December 1977, DHC-6 C-FABW crashed near Nanisivik Airport, Nunavut. Damaged beyond repair. 2 crew and 6 passengers were killed. Probable cause was a flap rod failure.
  • On 18 September 1978, Douglas C-47A C-FCRW was damaged beyond economic repair in a landing accident at Komakuk Airport, Northwest Territories.[19]
  • On 7 May 1982, Douglas C-47A C-FQHF overran the runway at Calgary International Airport following an aborted take-off.[20] The aircraft was damaged beyond economic repair.[21]
  • On 20 December 2007, Basler BT-67 C-FMKB was substantially damaged in a take-off accident at Mount Patterson Antarctica when the take-off was attempted with insufficient speed for flight. Of the 12 people on board, only the co-pilot suffered minor injuries. Although both sets of undercarriage collapsed and the port wing was damaged, the aircraft was later repaired and returned to service.[11][22][23]
  • On 25 October 2010, Beechcraft King Air C-FAFD en route from Edmonton City Centre to Kirby Lake (CFR4), crashed 1.5 NM southeast of Kirby Lake (55 20.5N / 110 36.2W). One of the ten occupants on board was killed, four were seriously injured.[24]
  • On 4 November 2010, a hangar fire at Inuvik (Mike Zubko) Airport destroyed three aircraft owned by Kenn Borek Air and operated by Aklak Air. They were de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter C-GZVH, Beechcraft King Air C-GHOC and Beechcraft 99 C-FKBK.[25]


  1. ^ TP143 - Air Traffic Designators
  2. ^ Transport Canada (2019-09-05), Civil Aviation Services (CAS) AOC.
  3. ^ "Federal Aviation Administration - Airline Certificate Information - Detail View". Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Quick Search Result for Kenn Borek Air". Transport Canada. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  5. ^ a b Aklak Air Schedule
  6. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 3 April 2007. p. 100.
  7. ^ "Vic Turner Ltd". Airline History. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  8. ^ "Member Profiles". Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Kenting Atlas Aviation". Airline History. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  10. ^ a b c d Canadian Press (23 January 2013). "Bad weather hampers search for 3 Canadians on plane missing in Antarctica". Global News. Archived from the original on 19 February 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  11. ^ a b c CTV News (23 January 2013). "Kenn Borek plane carrying three Canadians missing in Antarctica". CTV. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  12. ^ Bob Antol (April 2001). "The Rescue of Dr. Ron Shemenski from the South Pole". Bob Antol's Polar Journals. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  13. ^ "Doctor rescued from Antarctica safely in Chile". New Zealand Herald. 27 April 2001. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  14. ^ TRANSCRIPT (26 April 2001). "Plane With Dr. Shemenski Arrives in Chile". CNN. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  15. ^ "Kenn Borek rescue mission evacuates pair to Chile from South Pole". CBC News. 22 June 2016.
  16. ^ Jen DiMascio (3 March 2017). "Kenn Borek Air Crew Wins 2017 Laureate for Heroism". Aviation Week & Space Technology.
  17. ^ Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Aircraft Details DHC-6, C-GKBC, Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Aircraft Details DHC-6, C-GZVH
  18. ^ "C-FIQR Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
  19. ^ "C-FCRW Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
  20. ^ Flight International, 31 July 1982, p267 Retrieved on 23 July 2010.
  21. ^ "C-FQHF Accident report". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
  22. ^ "C-FMKB Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
  23. ^ "ANC08TA028". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
  24. ^ "Northern Alta. plane crash kills 1". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 25 October 2010. Retrieved 14 March 2010.
  25. ^ "Hull-loss description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  26. ^ "Aircraft Missing in Antarctica". Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  27. ^ Radio-Canada (23 January 2013). "Un avion transportant trois Canadiens est disparu en Antarctique" (in French). Station Radio-Canada. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  28. ^ a b "ASN Aircraft accident de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 C-GKBC Mount Elizabeth". Aviation Safety Network. 23 January 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  29. ^ "Flight carrying 3 Canadians missing in Antarctica". New Straits Times. Associated Press. 23 January 2013. Archived from the original on 24 January 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  30. ^ CTV News (26 January 2013). "Wreckage of missing plane found, crash deemed 'not survivable'". CTV News. Retrieved 26 January 2013.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit