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Max Moth

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Max Moth

Group from the judicial court After working as a pilot for Northern Flights limited, Max Ward decided to start his own business.

In June 1946, he created a company named Polaris Charter Company limited that owned a single Fox Moth aircraft. He offered a service to prospectors who were looking for gold around the Yellowknife area, but Ward faced difficulties when he crashed the Moth on his first flight to Yellowknife.

Ward continued to fly until May 1947, when the Air Transportation Board informed him that he had to have a commercial license to keep flying. Max decided to fly with a partner and his airline, Yellowknife Airways.

By October 1949, Max Ward had a series of unfortunate events that included the loss of his house in a fire, the destruction of his Fox Moth in a crash that killed the pilot, and the end of his partnership. He decided to move to Lethbridge to work at building houses.

Ward later returned to Yellowknife in 1951 to take a position as a pilot for Associated Airways.

By 1952, he applied to the Air Transportation Board to start his own company again, but was turned down. He then made a second application and by 1 June 1953, Ward purchased a de Havilland Otter. The Otter was the largest aircraft in Western Canada that was used at the time for bush flights, able to carry sheets of plywood and lumber. By 3 June, the licence for Wardair was issued.

Ward’s business grew, due to his ability to transport larger loads into remote regions.

On 2 June 1961, Ward planned to expand his services to include international flights, and changed the name of his company to Wardair Canada limited. Wardair provided charter airline services in southern Canada and flew his first group, the Alberta School Patrol Band, on 10 May 1962 on a return trip from Calgary to Ottawa.

Ward provided his first international charter on 22 June 1962, travelling from Edmonton to Denmark. His success was evident when on 28 April 1966 he purchased his first Boeing 727, the first Boeing jet sold in Canada.

To continue his expansion and to gather the capital he needed, Wardair went public on 18 September 1967. By December 1967, Wardair began tours to destinations in the United States including Hawaii, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean.

New regulations set out by the Air Transportation Board in March 1968 required Wardair to prove that they only provided service to clubs whose members on board had been members for at least six months. The aircraft also had to fly at capacity for each flight. Even with these restrictions, Max Ward was able to continue running a profitable airline.

By May 1968, he was able to buy the bigger Boeing 707 for his fleet. The rules set down by the Air Transportation Board were removed in January 1973.

 

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