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NorOntair is a defunct airline from Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 that operated its first scheduled flight October 18, 1971 and its last flight March 29, 1996.

Dash 8 service

  • Fort Frances
  • Kapuskasing
  • North Bay
    North Bay, Ontario
    North Bay is a city in Northeastern Ontario, Canada. It is the seat of Nipissing District, and takes its name from its position on the shore of Lake Nipissing.-History:...

  • Sault Ste. Marie
    Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
    Sault Ste. Marie is a city on the St. Marys River in Algoma District, Ontario, Canada. It is the third largest city in Northern Ontario, after Sudbury and Thunder Bay, with a population of 74,948. The community was founded as a French religious mission: Sault either means "jump" or "rapids" in...

  • Sudbury
  • Thunder Bay
    Thunder Bay
    -In Canada:Thunder Bay is the name of three places in the province of Ontario, Canada along Lake Superior:*Thunder Bay District, Ontario, a district in Northwestern Ontario*Thunder Bay, a city in Thunder Bay District*Thunder Bay, Unorganized, Ontario...

  • Timmins
    Timmins is a city in northeastern Ontario, Canada on the Mattagami River. At the time of the Canada 2006 Census, Timmins' population was 42,997...

  • Winnipeg
    Winnipeg is the capital and largest city of Manitoba, Canada, and is the primary municipality of the Winnipeg Capital Region, with more than half of Manitoba's population. It is located near the longitudinal centre of North America, at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers .The name...

Twin Otter service

  • Atikokan
  • Chapleau
    Chapleau, Ontario
    Chapleau is a township in Sudbury District, Ontario, Canada. It is home to one of the world's largest wildlife preserves. Chapleau has a population of 2,354 according to the Canada 2006 Census....

  • Earlton
  • Elliot Lake
  • Geraldton
  • Gore Bay
    Gore Bay, Ontario
    Gore Bay is a town on Manitoulin Island in Ontario, Canada. Located on Gore Bay, a bay of Lake Huron's North Channel, it is one of the two incorporated towns of Manitoulin District....

  • Hearst
    Hearst, Ontario
    Hearst is a town in the Canadian province of Ontario. It is located in Northern Ontario, approximately west of Kapuskasing, approximately north of Toronto and east of Thunder Bay on Highway 11...

  • Hornepayne
    Hornepayne, Ontario
    Hornepayne is a township of 1209 people located in the Algoma District of Ontario, Canada. The town was originally established in 1915 as Fitzback when the Canadian Northern Railway's transcontinental line was built through the area. It was renamed Hornepayne in 1920 after British financier...

  • Kenora
  • Kirkland Lake
  • Pickle Lake
    Pickle Lake, Ontario
    Pickle Lake is a township in the Canadian province of Ontario, and is the most northerly community in the province that has year-round access by road. Located north of Thunder Bay, highway access is via Highway 599, the only access road to the town from the south. More northerly communities rely...

  • Red Lake
    Red Lake, Ontario
    Population trend:* Population in 2006: 4526* Population in 2001: 4233* Population total in 1996: 4778** Golden : 2248** Red Lake : 2277* Population in 1991:** Golden : 2355** Red Lake : 2268-Climate:...

  • Sioux Lookout
    Sioux Lookout, Ontario
    Sioux Lookout is a town in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. It has a population of 5,336 and an elevation of 1280 ft / 390 m. Known locally as the "Hub of the North", it is serviced by the Sioux Lookout Airport, Highway 72, and the Sioux Lookout railway station...

  • Terrace Bay
    Terrace Bay, Ontario
    Terrace Bay is a township in Thunder Bay District in northern Ontario, Canada, located on the north shore of Lake Superior east of Thunder Bay along Highway 17...

  • Wawa
    Wawa, Ontario
    Wawa is a township in the Canadian province of Ontario, located within the Algoma District. Formerly known as the township of Michipicoten, the township was officially renamed for its largest and best-known community in 2009....


NorOntair was a subsidiary of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission
Ontario Northland Transportation Commission
The Ontario Northland Transportation Commission , or simply Ontario Northland, is a Crown agency of the Government of Ontario.ONTC operates the following public services in Northern Ontario:...

, a provincial Crown agency
Crown agency (Ontario)
A Crown agency is the title used to describe a Crown corporation in the Canadian province of Ontario.This name is applied to any board, commission, railway, public utility, university, manufactory, company or agency, which is owned, controlled, or operated by the Queen in Right of Ontario, or else...

 of the Government of Ontario
Government of Ontario
The Government of Ontario refers to the provincial government of the province of Ontario, Canada. Its powers and structure are set out in the Constitution Act, 1867....

 (ONTC)http://www.ontc.on.ca. The airline was created by the administration of Premier Bill Davis
Bill Davis
William Grenville "Bill" Davis, was the 18th Premier of Ontario, Canada, from 1971 to 1985. Davis was first elected as the MPP for Peel in the 1959 provincial election where he was a backbencher in Leslie Frost's government. Under John Robarts, he was a cabinet minister overseeing the education...

 to create east-west links across Northern Ontario
Northern Ontario
Northern Ontario is a region of the Canadian province of Ontario which lies north of Lake Huron , the French River and Lake Nipissing. The region has a land area of 802,000 km2 and constitutes 87% of the land area of Ontario, although it contains only about 6% of the population...


ONTC's first foray into air services began when it subcontracted flying operations to various airlines including Bradley Air Service (First Air
First Air
Bradley Air Services Limited, operating as First Air, is an airline headquartered in Kanata, Ontario, Canada. It operates services to 30 communities in Nunavut, Nunavik, and the Northwest Territories. The majority of its fleet is available for charters worldwide...

), Austin Airways
Austin Airways
Austin Airways was a passenger airline and freight carrier based in Timmins, Ontario, and the oldest in Canada.-Code Information:*ICAO Code:*IATA Code:*Call Sign:-Company history:...

, Air-Dale Ltd and OnAir (taken over by Bearskin Airlines
Bearskin Airlines
Bearskin Lake Air Services Ltd., trading as Bearskin Airlines, is a regional airline based in Sioux Lookout, Ontario, Canada. It operates services in northern Ontario and Manitoba...

). Air-Dale Ltd. based in Sault Ste Marie was the airline's main operations base. Two Dehavilland Dash 8-102 aircraft and 6 Dash 6-300 Twin Otters were based in Sault Ste Marie. Two additional Twin Otters were based in Thunder Bay and were operated by Bearskin Airlines crews but painted in full NorOntair colours. In its final years, ONTC bought Air-Dale Ltd and operated all the remaining routes until the service was discontinued.

In 1996, the newly elected administration of Premier Mike Harris
Mike Harris
Michael Deane "Mike" Harris was the 22nd Premier of Ontario from June 26, 1995 to April 15, 2002. He is most noted for the "Common Sense Revolution", his Progressive Conservative government's program of deficit reduction in combination with lower taxes and cuts to government...

 moved to close down the airline by removing subsidies.

NorOntair was the first airline in the world to order and take delivery of Bombardier
Bombardier Aerospace
Bombardier Aerospace is a division of Bombardier Inc. and is the third-largest airplane manufacturer in the world. It is headquartered in Dorval, Quebec, Canada.- History :...

's de Havilland Canada Dash 8 Series 100, on October 23, 1984, operated by Air-Dale Ltd. The first Dash 8 in commercial service anywhere in the world wore NorOntair colours and was registered C-GJCB. This aircraft was number 6 off the assembly line and remained in active service until the closure of the company flying up to 14 hours a day across Northern Ontario. A second Dash 8 joined the fleet shortly after the first and was registered C-GPYD. This second Dash 8 was seriously damaged on approach into Sault Ste Marie one day. Shortly after the company took delivery of the aircraft, it landed hard during a cockpit crew training flight. The hard landing caused the aircraft's landing gear to collapse, causing significant damage to the newly acquired plane. Of particular concern to the airline and to Dehavilland Canada at the time was the fact that the crash caused one of the engine's propeller blades to violently break away from the engine housing. The blades penetrated the cabin wall of the aircraft, travelled through Row 2 of the aircraft interior and exited through the other side of the cabin sidewall on the opposite side. Given that the aircraft was on a training flight, no passengers were on board. The flight crew escaped the aircraft without injury. The aircraft was removed from service and after months of structural repairs and refurbishment, was returned to active service.

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