Canadian North

IATA code

ICAO code






1989 - present

Canadian North has a history of almost 80 years. It traces back to 1946 when Russel Bradley started a flying school as Bradley Air Services. This developed into a charter and aerial survey company and in 1958 Bradley and his partner Phipps invented the so-called tundra wheels for operating their Piper Cubs in arctic areas. Consequently First Air was established in 1973 for passenger and cargo services in the Northwestern Territories, operating rugged aircraft ranging from small 6-seaters to the venerable DC-3 and HS-748. In 1990 Makivik Corporation, representing the Inuit of northern Quebec, bought First Air and continued operations. In 2001, the ATR-42 entered the fleet and a B737 was welcomed in 2005 as their first jet.

In 1989 Canadian North was founded as a subsidiary of Canadian Airlines International, to specifically serve northern Canadian communities. It operated a large fleet of B737 Classics, as well as some Dash-8 equipment. After acquisition by NorTerra holding company of Nunavut in 1998, it adopted the name Air NorTerra. NorTerra was equally owned by the Inuvialuit of the western Canadian Arctic and the Inuit of Nunavut. In 2021 Air NorTerra was integrated into First Air and although the new company chose the trade name Canadian North, Bradley Air Services is still the official name. The airline is headquartered in Kanata, close to Ottawa. Nowadays it focuses its operations on Canada’s Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Nunavik region, where smaller communities continue to be served with frequent air services. Also several major cities in Canada are part of the flight schedule.


Canadian North and Fokkers

The Fokker era for Canadian North began in 2001, when two series 1000 Fellowships were bought from former mother company Canadian Regional. Both initially kept their livery, where the word ‘Regional’ was replaced with ‘North’ and also the Canadian Regional fleet numbers remained present. A third F28-1000 was leased for four months in 2002 from the same source and as far as we know it operated in full Canadian Regional livery. F28 C-FTAY got its livery updated in early 2004, when the corporate polar bear logo appeared on the tail of the aircraft.

In 2006 two Fokker 100s entered the fleet and these stayed with Canadian North for some 1.5 years. Both were painted in the full livery.


Canadian North Fokker fleet

Registration c/n Date in Date out Remarks
C-FTAR 11047 05-07-2001 31-05-2004 leased from Canadian Regional. Fleet nr 157
C-FTAY 11084 16-07-2001 10-2006 fleet nr 158. Deregistered 24-05-2012
C-GTAH 11082 18-02-2002 12-07-2002 leased from Canadian Regional. Fleet nr 130
C-GPNL 11301 15-05-2006 20-12-2007 fleet nr 160
C-GYNR 11265 18-06-2006 26-02-2008 fleet nr 161

Canadian North pictures

Canadian North F28 C-FTAR (11047) in the original livery (Jerry Search; Calgary, 9 October 2003)


Canadian North F28 C-FTAY (11084) in the ‘Polar bear’ livery (Richard Barsby; Edmonton,14 May 2004)


Canadian North F100 C-GPNL (11301) in the final livery. (John Smitherman; Calgary, 3 July 2006)



  • Roche and A.B. Eastwood. Jet Airliner Production List volume 2. The Aviation Hobby Shop, July 2006.
  • Aero Transport Database: Canadian North airline profile, accessed 20-03-2024.
  • Jan Homma.