C-FARO Convair CV-580 of Air Niagara Express
Toronto Pearson International Airport - 05 January 1995
Douglas Holland and Caz Caswell Note:
Air Niagara Express was founded in 1978 and by nearly a decade later had become well established in the field of executive charters and contract small parcels services.
The fleet at this time consisted of Six Cessna Citations, two Piper Navajo and a single Fairchild Merlin. But in 1987 it signed a joint venture agreement with Travel Save Canada to operate a charter service under the name "Holidair" from June 1987. This required larger aircraft and two Convair CV-508's were added to the fleet (this JV does not appears as successful as the partners hoped).
Over the next five years the basic mix of Aircraft remained the same, but the number of each type varied year on year, except the Fairchild Merlin was replaced by a Fairchild Metro.
During 1992 things changed when Arie Tall's became President of and CEO. The Fleet dropped from a total fleet of 8: - Two Convair CV-580, two Cessna Citation, one Fairchild Metro and three Piper Navajo, to 3 Aircraft: - One Convair CV-580, one Fairchild Merlin SA-226AT and one PA-31-350 Piper Navajo Chieftain. As a direct consequence employee numbers dropped from 40 to 14.
At the same time Headquarters ere moved to a Suite in the same building as Jetall, owned by Arie Tall, who was also President and CEO, which e had founded in 1987
(See: C-GJLN Boeing 737-210C of JetAll in Canadian Airlines of the Past - Part 1 an Associated JetAll Notes )
From this time some sources show Jetall as the Parent company of Air Niagara. Even if this was not strictly the case, although both companies operated as separate entities, Air Niagara, the relationship was symbiotic and effectively operated in the same niche markets, although Air Niagara Express always operated with a tiny fleet.
However when Jetall made its (disastrous) move into Boeing 737 Operations in late 1993, Air Niagara Express stayed with its small scale, operational philosophy.
When Jetall ceased operations in March 1996, Air Niagara continued to operate with a new board of directors and ambitions to be a jet operator!
By March 1997 the smaller aircraft had gone, leaving only one faithful Convair CV-580 and one Fokker F28-1000, with two Fokker F28-4000 Options.
But by March 1998 things were not going well, with the company only operating a single Fokker F28-1000 and the Airline Ceased operations during 1998. Although it appears the winding up phase lasted until November 1999.
For more about the Convair CV-240 through to Convair CV-5800 See:
Convair CV-240 through to Convair CV-5800 - Wikipedia Entry