Norlinor Aviation based in Mirabel, Quebec Canada is launching a new leisure airline OWG this fall. You probably have never heard of Norlinor Aviation which has been flying for 27 years. Norlinor specializes in flying passengers and cargo to remote airfields in Northern Canada.
Getting Ready To Take Flight
Earlier this year, Norlinor acquired a fleet of 737-400 aircraft. These aircraft will undergo a comprehensive maintenance “C” check and will be outfitted with new interiors. These 737s will feature a newer and lighter seat in an all-economy seating of 158 passengers. Norlinor has a history of experience in maintaining and flying older aircraft. The addition of the 737-400 will actually be some of the newest aircraft in the Norlinor fleet.
The interior cabin of OWG’s aircraft features the latest in innovative design with the world’s strongest and lightest seats made of titanium. This innovative seat design gives more space to the passenger. OWG is the first airline offering these seats on a Boeing 737 aircraft. The cabin sidewalls have been completely refurbished and the galley re-laminated along with new carpeting installed. The cabin lighting has been enhanced with LED MoodLites to offer the best cabin ambiance during the entire flight. The cabin briefing system will also be upgraded to allow a pre-recorded briefing to be clearly heard throughout the entire cabin.
OWG received the authorization from the Minister of Transport to provide regular international flight service on July 6th, 2020. The airline website shows that they are looking to launch their inaugural flights in just 53 days. What we know is that they will fly from Quebec to tropical destinations to the south. What their website doesn’t say at this time are:
- Where the destinations are,
- Flight schedules and
- A reservation system.
The airline intends to be a niche carrier working on a model of low-cost and putting the customer first.
As OWG President Marco Prud’homme explains, “The flight portion of your trip should be an integral part of your vacation. Traditional airlines have chosen to cut the quality of their services year after year with no regard for the passenger experience. Our goal is to win the hearts of Quebecers with a new airline whose mission is to get travellers excited again.”
In addition to these technological innovations, the new brand is counting on the quality of its team to provide a travel experience that will exceed customer expectations. With respect to in-flight protection standards against COVID-19, the OWG crew will benefit from the expertise developed by Nolinor Aviation during the crisis, while they continued to serve certain northern destinations by applying the highest standards in terms of health and safety.
Starting A New Airline Now
Are they crazy? Maybe not. It’s a buyer’s market on the used aircraft market. Unlike the 737MAX, the 737 classic series (737-300 through 737-600) is a highly reliable and robust aircraft with the first classic 737 models taking flight in 1984. Their business model is to be a niche airliner serving the leisure market of Quebec. Don’t expect them to compete with Air Canada or Westjet. Parent company Norlinor has been a niche market carrier for 27 years so they know what they are doing.
They should be ready to go in time to take Quebec passengers from the deep freeze to sunny tropical destinations later this year. Again, they intend to fly out of underserved airports so they don’t have to compete for passengers.
I am a self-confessed avgeek. I found this airline last year when I viewed YouTube videos showing gravel airfield operations of their 737-200. This immediately caught my attention because the original Boeing 737 modes (series 100 and 200) have been prohibited from operating in the United States due to extremely high noise levels. What I discovered from Norlinor is not only are these robust and reliable early 737 models still flying every day, there are extremely adept at flying to remote and undeveloped airstrips. These aircraft are fitted with gravel kits to prevent damage to the fuselage and engines during gravel field operations. They fly the early 737s and Convair 580 turboprops (from the 1950s) in “combi” (freight and passenger) configurations.
Sam Chui, who in my opinion is world avgeek #1 recently flew on a Norlinor 737-200 and made an incredible video on his flight.
Starting a new airline in the middle of a pandemic, are they crazy? The used aircraft market is flooded with hundreds of passenger aircraft and the older models are practically a giveaway. OWG by design will be a niche carrier that should be operating out of underserved airports in Quebec solely aimed at the Canadian leisure market. Finally, Norlinor is a carrier that for 27 years has specialized in flying older aircraft in underserved locations. I wish them well and I look forward to updating this story after they start service.