played an important role in the development of the aviation
industry in Alberta.
In 1937 his company, United Air Transport, provided regular
airmail and transport services to the Grande Prairie and Peace
River areas. In April, McConachie decided to expand to take
advantage of the growing consumer demand for good, reliable air
service. He announced that he would increase services by flying
between Edmonton and Whitehorse once a week, with stops in
Grande Prairie, Fort St John, Fort Nelson, and Lower Post,
located on the British Columbia and Yukon border.
In 1939, a local air company, Peace River Air, was also
established due to the market demand. McConachie expanded his
service again and renamed his company Yukon Southern Transport.
He used a Ford tri-motor to perform at summer fairs, and made
a profit transporting businessmen across the Rockies to
Vancouver when they needed to get there faster than a train
When the Second World War started in 1939, conditions changed
for McConachie’s Yukon Southern Transport. He faced stiff
competition and spare parts were suddenly difficult to obtain
with factories focused on producing wartime supplies.
At the end of 1941 and the beginning of 1942, he sold Yukon
Southern Transport to the newly formed Canadian Pacific Air