Rise Air: Strong roots, First Nations owned, and proudly serving the north

September 13, 2021

The history of Rise Air is intimately connected to the growth of the Canadian aviation industry and the development of the Northern Saskatchewan region. 

Formed in 2021 when Transwest Air and West Wind Aviation combined under one brand, Rise Air has built on the legacies of these two airlines and is now one of the largest independent air carriers in Canada with the most diverse and comprehensive fleet of fixed-wing aircraft in Saskatchewan with specialized charters and the largest scheduled service network in Saskatchewan. 

Transwest Air was formed in 2000 through the merger of Saskatchewan-based Athabaska Airways and La Ronge Aviation Services. The joining of the two airlines to form Transwest Air was undertaken by the sons of the original owners, Jim Glass and Pat Campling Jr. Their mission was to support the development of Northern Saskatchewan by safely and consistently delivering the best possible value to our customers. 

West Wind Aviation was created in 1983, quickly growing from a one-aircraft operation into a diverse organization with a range of aviation-related services including a charter, workforce transportation, and scheduled service through its now defunct Express Air and Pronto Airways divisions. 

 In 2016, West Wind Aviation purchased Transwest Air and their operations gradually merged over this past year to form Rise Air, a proud 100 per cent First Nations owned airline. Athabasca Basin Development, representing the seven communities in the Athabasca Basin, is the majority shareholder at 75 per cent. The Prince Albert Development Corporation holds 25 per cent. Rise Air is a Certified Aboriginal Business through the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. 

Today, Rise Air employs over 200 employees in locations ranging from Saskatoon to Fond du Lac, serving the north and working and living alongside our valued customers and community partners. With a varied and ever-expanding fleet of fixed-wing aircraft, including wheels, floats, and skis, Rise Air is the only air operator in Saskatchewan with the capability of moving people and goods to and from virtually any location in the province and beyond. By taking advantage of the efficiencies unique to our broad spectrum of expertise and experience, Rise Air continues to offer high-quality tailored aviation solutions, which serve, support, and promote the growth and success of Saskatchewan. 

Scheduled commercial flights, with larger aircraft equipped with washrooms and flight attendants serve the communities of Saskatoon, Prince Albert, La Ronge, Stony Rapids, Fond du Lac, Uranium City, and Wollaston Lake. Rise Air also has decades of experience providing contract charter flights, including mine personnel shift changes and provincial court party transportation. Numerous accredited maintenance bases across the province means that MEDEVAC transportation, corporate and charter travel, and freight hauling are just a few of the many services Rise Air can provide safely, efficiently, and reliably, 365 days a year. 

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