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Wasaya launches into air freight

Aircraft conversion gives Thunder Bay carrier “strategic advantage”

Wasaya Airways announced it’s performed the “world’s first” conversion of a Dash 8 passenger aircraft into a dedicated package freighter.

The First Nations-owned air carrier announced the addition of a Dash 8-100PF to its fleet, the first of two such aircraft coming into service this summer.

Voyageur Aviation in North Bay did the design work and the conversion to create an aircraft capable of delivering a 10,000-pound payload onto the short gravel runways of remote northwestern Ontario communities.

The aircraft is getting its final regulatory checks from Transport Canada before being delivered to Thunder Bay in May.

The company boasted in an April 20 news release that their aircraft “moves more cargo, faster and at a lower unit cost than other freight aircraft operating in the region.”

Wasaya president-CEO Michael Rodyniuk, who congratulated the Voyageur team for their “amazing job,” called the addition of the Dash 8-100PF “an innovative game-changer and an essential strategic advantage for Wasaya in our new business model.”

“This aircraft gives Wasaya a unique competitive advantage, helping us in our mission to improve the quality of life for the people living in communities we serve by reducing the cost of delivering essential goods like groceries, fuels and building materials, into the Canadian North," said Rodyniuk.

“The aircraft hits a definitive sweet-spot in the regional aircraft cargo marketplace,” added Voyageur president Scott Tapson. “The payload to operational cost ratio is extremely favourable.”