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.

IATA ICAO Callsign
ND NDR Nordair
Ceased operations1987
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 and later from Montréal-Mirabel International Airport as this latter airfield did not open until 1975. It was headquartered in Montreal (operations at Dorval, Quebec and 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 prop 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 in Manitoba province and as far north as the Resolute Bay Airport in the Canadian Arctic with a number of destinations in Ontario and Quebec provinces in Canada being served including Montreal (via Dorval Airport), Ottawa, Toronto, Quebec City, Hamilton, ON and Windsor, ON as well as Pittsburgh in the U.S. primarily with Boeing 737-200 jetliners but also with Fairchild Hiller FH-227 turboprop aircraft as well.[3] The airline was also operating scheduled passenger flights in 1975 with Lockheed L-188 Electra turboprop aircraft primarily to destinations in Quebec province.[4] Nordair was continuing to operate scheduled passenger flights in 1986 primarily with Boeing 737-200 jets.[5]

Introduction of Boeing 737 jet aircraftEdit

The airline was operating Boeing 737-200 passenger jet service by 1970 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 Airport 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 DC-4 Inflight
Nordair Grumman G-73 Mallard at Montreal Dorval in 1973
Nordair Boeing 737-200 at the airline's base in Montreal.
Nordair Douglas DC-8 at the operations base.

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


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


Outside of CanadaEdit

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

Military contract flight servicesEdit

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


Nordair aircraft types operated
Boeing 737-242 and 2Q8, 2H4, 212, 296, 2T4, 242C, 2Q9, 2E1
Convair 990-30A-5 (operated on charter services)
C-46-1CU Commando
Douglas DC-6B
Douglas DC-3/C-47
Douglas DC-4
Douglas DC-8-52, Super DC-8-61CF, Super DC-8-71 (operated on charter services)
Fairchild Hiller FH-227D, 227B, 227E
Lockheed L-1049H-03 Super Constellation
Lockheed L-188C Electra
BAC One-Eleven
Short SC.7 Skyvan
Total about 24 aircraft

The Boeing 737-200 fleet included the combi aircraft version for mixed passenger/freight operations.[14]

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.[15]

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.[16]

Accidents and incidentsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ World Airline Directory. Flight International. March 20, 1975. "495.
  2. ^, July 16, 1959 Nordair system timetable
  3. ^, July 1, 1979 Nordair system timetable
  4. ^, April 15, 1975 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Montreal Dorval Airport flight schedules for Nordair
  5. ^, April 27, 1986 Nordair timetable cover
  6. ^, June 15, 1970 Nordair system timetable
  7. ^, June 2, 1968 Nordair system timetable
  8. ^, Dec. 15, 1989 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Montreal flight schedules
  9. ^, Nordair timetable route maps
  10. ^, Nordair route maps
  11. ^
  12. ^, photos of Nordair Lockheed L-188 Electra aircraft
  13. ^ Archived 2014-12-20 at the Wayback Machine Flight International 1986 - p113
  14. ^, Feb. 15, 1985 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Montreal Dorval Airport flight schedules for Nordair
  15. ^ June 15, 1970; Sept. 20, 1971; April 29, 1974 Nordair system timetables
  16. ^
  17. ^ "CF-HTH Hull-loss description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
  18. ^ "C-FCSC Hull-loss description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 21 August 2010.

External linksEdit