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Pacific Western Airlines

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Pacific Western Airlines

Russ Baker changed the name of Central B.C. Airways to Pacific Western Airlines (PWA) in 1953. At the same time, he started to fly a scheduled service from Vancouver to Kitimat.

In 1955, Baker’s PWA grew again when it acquired Queen Charlotte Airlines, allowing the company to provide a new air service to the Queen Charlotte Islands.

Baker had a major opportunity to expand when he signed a sub-contract with Associated Airways located in Edmonton to carry freight into the Western Arctic to Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line sites.

By December of 1955, PWA took over the ailing Associated Airways, obtaining licences that were needed to provide service to the Central Canada Section of the DEW Line. PWA was very successful in providing regular scheduled flights into these Arctic sites. In 1957, PWA acquired air service to Saskatchewan and Alberta.

At the time of his death in Vancouver on 15 November 1958, Baker had laid careful future plans for scheduled flights to many outlaying communities, including regular airbus service between Edmonton and Calgary, and daily flights to the Polar Sea region.


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