History of Rise Air
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 operations 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. Floyd Glass of Prince Albert founded Athabaska Airways in 1955 with just one aircraft, a Cessna 180. Five years later, Pat Campling Sr. founded Air Sask (La Ronge Aviation Services) in La Ronge, also with just one Cessna 180. Mirroring the growth of the province, both airlines expanded steadily over the years, gradually adding aircraft and broadening the scope and reach of their businesses. 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 air charter, workforce transportation, and scheduled service through its now-defunct Express Air and Pronto Airways divisions.
On July 1, 2016, West Wind Aviation purchased Transwest Air with operations consolidated over the past year. Rise Air is proud to be First Nations- and employee-owned offering. Athabasca Basin Development, representing the seven communities in the Athabasca Basin, is the majority shareholder at 65 percent. The Prince Albert Development Corporation has held 22 percent of the company since 2002. We are a Certified Aboriginal Business through the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.
Today, Rise Air employs over 200 personnel 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.
As we transition into the new brand, you will still see proud remnants of the Transwest Air and West Wind Aviation brands, and “Rise Air, operated by Transwest Air” will be visible on aircraft and customer ticketing and check-in processes for regulatory and legal reasons. Over time, we will continue to make the required changes to streamline our brand, Rise Air.