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About Bearskin Airlines

Bearskin Airlines, also known as Bearskin Lake Air Service LP, is a regional Canadian airline based in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.


The airline operates services to 12 destinations in Ontario and Winnipeg, Manitoba. No other airline offers better connecting service between NW Ontario and NE Ontario. Thunder Bay acts as Bearskin's major hub, linking Northern Ontario's 5 largest cities to NW Ontario and to Winnipeg.


Bearskin Airlines is mainly based in Thunder Bay International Airport and Greater Sudbury Airport, Canada.


Bearskin Airlines' orginis are from Northern Ontario. John Hegland founded the company on July 17, 1963, naming it after Bearskin Lake, a remote First Nations community located 270 miles northeast of Sioux Lookout.


In 1977, the company commenced its first scheduled route, carrying passengers between Big Trout Lake and Sioux Lookout. A year later, a base operation was established in Sioux Lookout and a second scheduled route was launched, between Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay. Shortly thereafter, Cliff Friesen moved to Thunder Bay to establish another base operation.


In the late 70's and early 80's, the provincial government embarked upon an extensive airfield construction program in Ontario's remote First Nations communities. Bearskin took advantage of this opportunity to commence scheduled service with wheeled aircraft throughout the north. For many years, Bearskin Airlines provided a vital link to more than 20 First Nation communities accessible only by air.


Throughout the 80's and early 90's Bearskin continued to expand and enhance it's service to many Northwestern Ontario cities, providing connections to Air Canada in Thunder Bay and Winnipeg. Using newly acquired 19 seat Fairchild Metroliners, expansion continued throughout Northeastern Ontario in the mid 90's, followed by Northern Manitoba in 1999. By the summer of 2003, Bearskin Airlines had expanded to include scheduled service to almost 40 destinations.


In early 2003 Bearskin sold its northern assets to Wasaya Airways who took control of Bearskin's scheduled passenger service to 21 First Nation communities. Wasaya is wholly owned by a number of Northwestern Ontario First Nation communities.


Following the sale to Wasaya, Bearskin Airlines rationalized its routes and equipment to include more southern markets within Ontario and a single aircraft type - the Fairchild Metroliner.


The company maintains its Head Office in Thunder Bay and employs more than 180 people throughout Ontario and Manitoba. The company also has a maintenance and pilot base in Thunder Bay.


Travel Class

Economy Class


Flight attendants onboard are ready to serve your needs. You can stay entertained with inflight entertainment and magazines on board.


Enjoy comfortable seats in the Economy Class cabin.



Business Class


With Bearskin Airlines Business Class you can enjoy a little extra comfort. Bearskin Airlines provides in-flight video programs. Business Class travellers can access in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity to keep them connected with family and friends. The airline also provides newspapers and magazines onboard to keep you entertained.


Business Class has bigger seats and more legroom for passengers to experience comfort.


Bearskin Airlines Destinations


Winnipeg (Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport)


Dryden (Dryden Regional Airport)

Fort Frances (Fort Frances Municipal Airport)

Kapuskasing (Kapuskasing Airport)

Kenora (Kenora Airport)

North Bay (North Bay/Jack Garland Airport)

Red Lake (Red Lake Airport)

Sault Ste. Marie (Sault Ste. Marie Airport)

Sioux Lookout (Sioux Lookout Airport)

Sudbury (Sudbury Airport)

Thunder Bay (Thunder Bay International Airport)

Timmins (Timmins/Victor M. Power Airport)




Bearskin Airlines Baggage Allowances


Checked Baggage

Bearskin Airlines has a free checked baggage allowance per customer of 18kg (40lbs). Any checked luggage exceeding the allowance will be charged an excess baggage fee, prior to travel. If an individual piece of baggage is over 31kg (70lbs), then it will not be accepted as checked baggage.


Carry-on Baggage

Bearskin Airlines allows 1 piece of carry-on baggage per passenger, limited to a maximum weight of 5.8kg (13lbs). One stroller (buggy), wheelchair, walker, car seat, or bassinet will be accepted free of charge and will not be considered as the free checked baggage allowance.

Any items that are deemed as too large for carry-on will be classed as carry-out luggage and will form part of the free checked baggage allowance.

A maximum of 2 items will be permitted as a carry-on and carry-out combined.



Bearskin Airlines Hub - Sudbury Airport

Sudbury Airport (or Greater Sudbury airport) is an airport in the Canadian city of Greater Sudbury, Ontario and is located northeast of the downtown area, on Municipal Road 86 between the communities of Garson and Skead. Although in many contexts the airport uses the name Greater Sudbury Airport, its official name, as registered with Transport Canada and printed in all aeronautical publications, is still simply Sudbury Airport.

The airport is served primarily by regional carrier lines such as Air Canada Jazz, Wasaya Airways Bearskin Airlines, Porter Airlines and WestJet Encore. From 2001 to 2004, it was also served by WestJet flights to Hamilton. It is also a base of Orange air ambulance service.






The Bearskin Airlines Fleet

Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner