First Air

First Air is a Canadian airline owned by the Inuit, based in Ottawa and bases at the airports Yellowknife and Iqaluit.


The Company was incorporated under the name of Bradley Air Services 1946. Between 1954 and 1956 four small aircraft Cessna 180 were used in the Northwest Territories for charter flights and the construction of the DEW (Distant Early Warning Line). In 1958 a regular flight operations in support of oil and mineral companies search. Starting in 1968, further research projects in the Arctic followed with the help of the First Air Fleet, which was accordingly expanded with aircraft of type DHC- 2 Beaver and DHC -3 Otter. In 1971, the most northerly base for commercial flights in Eureka (about 1000 km from the North Pole ) was founded. Here in 1972 two DC -3, the first Twin Otter were used.

The airline flight operating as First Air was recorded in 1973 between Ottawa and North Bay & Sudbary (Ontario). In the same year the main base was established in Resolute Bay. In 1975 the base Iqaluit ( Northwest Territories ). 1986 acquired First Air Boeing 727- 100C for freight and passengers. Between 1987 and 1994, took over the entire First Air transport for the DEW project between Alaska and Greenland; Hawker Siddeley 748 for this two and two Twin Otter were procured.

1995 acquired First Air Ptarmigan Airways, 1997 Northwest Territorial Airways and entered into a partnership with Air Canada. These transactions received two First Air Boeing 737 and a Lockheed Hercules.


Today First Air operates scheduled flights to 29 locations in Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Manitoba, Alberta, Yukoon, Quebec and Ontario.


As of July 2013, the fleet of the First Air consists of 27 aircraft:

  • 3 ATR 42-300
  • 6 ATR 42- 300QC ( can be upgraded if required to cargo aircraft )
  • 1 ATR 72-200
  • 1 ATR 72 -200F (Cargo)
  • 2 Boeing 727- 200F ( freighter aircraft; decommissioned)
  • 4 Boeing 737-200
  • 4 Boeing (can be converted to cargo aircraft if needed ) 737 -200M
  • 3 Boeing 737-400 ( decommissioned)
  • 1 Boeing 767 -200F ( freighter )
  • 2 Lockheed C -130 ( cargo aircraft )


  • 20 August 2011 crashed Flight 6560, a Boeing 737-200 of the First Air on the way from Yellowknife to Resolute Bay in the Canadian Arctic shortly before landing. 12 of 11 passengers and four crew members on board were killed. In January 2012, the Canadian Transportation Safety Board classified the incident in a preliminary report as a controlled flight into terrain. The exact cause of the accident was not yet known, but we concentrated on the navigation systems on board the 36-year old machine.