Nordair (IATA: NDICAO: NDRCall sign: Nordair) was a Quebec-based airline in Canada founded in 1947 from the merger of Boreal Airways and Mont Laurier Aviation.

Nordair Logo, January 1986.svg
Nordair CF-NAB.jpg
Boeing 737-200 at the airline's base in Montreal
IATA ICAO Callsign
ND NDR Nordair
Ceased operations1987 (purchased Pacific Western Airlines and Canadian Pacific Air Lines to form Canadian Airlines International)
DestinationsCanada, United States
HeadquartersDorval, Quebec
Key peopleFernand “Frank” Henley, Founder and VP


The airline operated from the 1940s to the 1980s. Initially, most of its business was international and transatlantic passenger and freight charters and other contracts. It also operated scheduled flights to a number of destinations in eastern Canada and the Northwest Territories. Nordair flew out of Montreal's two airports: initially from Dorval Airport, now Montréal–Trudeau International Airport, and later from Montréal–Mirabel International Airport as this latter airfield did not open until 1975. It was headquartered in Montreal with operations at Dorval, Quebec and their head office at 1320 Boulevard Graham in Mont Royal.[1]

Nordair was operating scheduled passenger services in July 1959 utilizing Douglas DC-3 and Douglas DC-4 propeller aircraft with routings of Montreal - Frobisher Bay (now Iqaluit) - Cape Dyer Airport; Montreal - Roberval - Fort Chimo (now Kuujjuaq) - Frobisher Bay; and Montreal - Quebec City - Roberval - Chibougamau.[2]

The airline was still operating scheduled passenger flights 20 years later. According to Nordair's July 1, 1979 system timetable and route map, jet service was being operated as far west as Winnipeg and as far north as the Resolute Bay Airport in the Canadian Arctic with a number of destinations in Ontario and Quebec in Canada being served including Montreal (via Dorval Airport), Ottawa, Toronto, Quebec City, Hamilton, Ontario and Windsor, Ontario as well as Pittsburgh in the United States, primarily with Boeing 737-200 jetliners but also with Fairchild Hiller FH-227 turboprop aircraft.[3] The airline was also operating scheduled passenger flights in 1975 with Lockheed L-188 Electra turboprop aircraft primarily to destinations in Quebec.[4] Nordair was continuing to operate scheduled passenger flights in 1986 primarily with Boeing 737-200 jets.[5]

A Fairchild Hiller FH-227B at Montréal–Trudeau International Airport

Introduction of Boeing 737 jet aircraftEdit

The airline was operating Boeing 737-200 passenger jet service in 1969 in both scheduled and charter operations according to the June 15, 1970 Nordair system timetable which contained the following marketing message concerning its leisure charter flights: SUNNY HOLIDAYS - BLUE TAIL JET CHARTER FLIGHTS TO THE SUN....BARBADOS - JAMAICA - BAHAMAS - FLORIDA - MEXICO.[6] This same timetable also lists scheduled passenger service operated by Nordair with the Boeing 737-200 between Montreal Dorval and Fort Chimo (now Kuujjuaq), Frobisher Bay (now Iqaluit), Great Whale (now Kuujjuarapik), Hamilton and Resolute.

Merger and aftermathEdit

Lockheed L-1049H Super Constellation of Nordair at Manchester Airport England on a freight charter in 1966. The airline was also operating the Super Constellation in scheduled passenger service in 1968 on nonstop Montreal-Frobisher Bay and Montreal-Resolute routes.[7]

Nordair was purchased by Canadian Pacific Air Lines which had operated as CP Air. On March 27, 1987, Pacific Western Airlines purchased Canadian Pacific Air Lines and then emerged as Canadian Airlines. The jet operation was absorbed into Canadian Airlines, while the turboprop operations were absorbed into Inter-Canadien. In 2000, that airline was acquired by Air Canada.

Intair, a scheduled passenger airline that was based in Canada and operated jet and turboprop aircraft, used Nordair's two letter "ND" airline code for its domestic flights in eastern Canada in 1989 until it ceased operations and went out of business.[8]

Another company called Nordair Quebec 2000 Incorporated operated in 2000 as a domestic regional carrier and cargo operator in Quebec, but the licence and licence applications for the airline were suspended in 2006 by Transport Canada, and again the Nordair name disappeared from the airline industry

Nordair DC-4 Inflight


The following destinations in Canada were served by Nordair with scheduled passenger flights during the airline's existence:[9][10][11]


Nordair Grumman G-73 Mallard at Montreal Dorval in 1973
Lockheed L-188C Electra operating as Environment Canada ice patrol

Outside of CanadaEdit

Most of the flights to the United States, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Mexico and Europe were charter flights, as Nordair operated only a few scheduled passenger services outside of Canada.

Nordair Douglas DC-8 at the operations base.

Military contract flight servicesEdit

Nordair served as an air service contractor to the Canadian Armed Forces, including ice reconnaissance missions flown with a Lockheed L-188 Electra turboprop aircraft[12] and United States Air Force support flights to Distant Early Warning Line stations from Alaska to Baffin Island.[13]


Nordair had the following aircraft registered by Transport Canada and listed in their timetables. Over the years they had at least 40 aircraft.

Canadian North fleet
Aircraft Number Variants Notes
Beechcraft At least one aircraft. Not listed with Transport Canada[2]
Boeing 737 15 737-200 Gravel strip equipped, includes combi aircraft[14][15]
Cessna 150 1 150K [14]
Consolidated PBY Catalina Flying boat. At least one aircraft listed as a Canso. Not listed with Transport Canada[2]
Curtiss C-46 Commando   At least one aircraft. Not listed with Transport Canada[2]
de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver 1 Beaver I [14]
de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter 2   [14]
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter   At least one aircraft. Not listed with Transport Canada[16]
Douglas C-47 Skytrain At least one aircraft. Not listed with Transport Canada[2]
Douglas DC-3 1 DC-3SC Former Douglas C-47 Skytrain military aircraft[14]
Douglas DC-4   At least one aircraft. Not listed with Transport Canada[2]
Douglas DC-6   DC-6A, DC-6B At least two aircraft. Not listed with Transport Canada[17]
Douglas DC-8 1 DC-8-52 Operated on charter services[14]
Fairchild FH-227 4 FH-227B, FH-227D, FH-227E [14]
Grumman G-73 Mallard   At least one aircraft. Not listed with Transport Canada[18]
Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation   L-1049G, L-1049H At least two aircraft. Not listed with Transport Canada[7]
Lockheed L-188 Electra 2 L-188C [14]
Piper PA-31 Navajo 1 PA-31 Navajo [14]
Short SC.7 Skyvan At least one aircraft. Not listed with Transport Canada[19]

The Boeing 737 fleet included the combi aircraft version for mixed passenger/freight operations.[15]

Nordair also operated de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter STOL capable turboprop aircraft during the early and mid 1970s in scheduled passenger service between the community of Frobisher Bay (now Iqaluit) and various local destinations in this region of the Canadian Arctic.[9]

Another type operated by the airline was the Grumman G-73 Mallard amphibious aircraft which had been converted with turboprop engines and was capable of landing on both land and water (see above photo).

In addition, a division of Nordair, Nordair Metro, was operating Convair 580 turboprop aircraft in 1986.[20]

Accidents and incidentsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ World Airline Directory. Flight International. March 20, 1975. "495.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Nordair timetable". July 16, 1959. pp. 1–2. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  3. ^ "Nordair timetable". July 1, 1979. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  4. ^ "Airlines and Aircraft Serving Montreal Dorval Effective April 15, 1975". Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  5. ^ "Nordair timetable cover". April 27, 1986. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  6. ^ "Nordair timetable". June 15, 1970. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Nordai timetable". June 2, 1968. pp. 1–2. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  8. ^ "December 15, 1989 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Montreal flight schedules". Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Nordair timetables". Time Table Images. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  10. ^ "Nordair route map". Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  11. ^ "Nordair Timetables". AirTimes. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  12. ^ "Lockheed L-188C(PF) Electra - Nordair". Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  13. ^ "World Airline Directory". Flight International. 1986. p. 113. Archived from the original on December 20, 2014.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i "CCAR - History Search Result". December 8, 2021.
  15. ^ a b "Airlines and Aircraft Serving Montreal Dorval Effective February 15, 1985". Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  16. ^ "Nordair timetable". June 15, 1970. pp. 1–3. Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  17. ^ "Nordair timetable". May 3, 1964. pp. 1–2. Retrieved December 10, 2021.
  18. ^ "Grumman G-73 Mallard, CF-UOT". Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  19. ^ "Nordair timetable, April 29, 1974". pp. 3–4. Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  20. ^ "Convair 580 - Nordair Metro". Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  21. ^ "CF-HTH Hull-loss description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
  22. ^ "C-FCSC Hull-loss description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 21 August 2010.

External linksEdit