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Buffalo Airways was established in 1970 and is a family-run airline based in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, in Canada. The airline’s main base is at Yellowknife Airport, although the airline also has two other bases at Hay River/Merlyn Carter Airport, and Red Deer Regional Airport. In the past, the airline has operated scheduled passenger service, but as of 2020, no longer does so. Today, Buffalo Airways provides charter passenger services, as well as charter cargo, firefighting, and fuel services, as well as operating a school of aviation.


Firefighting is a major part of the airline’s operations, and the company has specialist aircraft specifically equipped for fire suppression and to provide a fast response. The airline operates on behalf of the Government of the Northwest Territories, and also provides fire fighting services both nationally and internationally.

Looking to book flights within Canada?

Buffalo Airways only operates charter flights. Alternatively, there are a number of scheduled passenger airlines which regularly operate scheduled flights within Canada. Find out more in our guide to domestic flights within Canada, which includes an airline guide and FAQs.

Baggage Policy

The airline doesn’t provide scheduled flights, only private charter. The weight allowance of the plane will be detailed during the booking process, to ensure the right plane is chartered to meet your requirements.


The airline will explain the boarding process when you make your charter reservation.

Alternatives to Buffalo Airways

The following airlines operate regional scheduled passenger flights within Canada:

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Hub Airport

Yellowknife Airport

Yellowknife Airport (IATA: YZΩ) is located in Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories, Canada. The airport is operated by the Government of the Northwest Territories, and has regular scheduled passenger service, as well as a number of private charter, cargo, and freight services.

The following are scheduled passenger airlines that fly to Yellowknife Airport: Air Canada ExpressAir NorthAir Tindi, Canadian North, Northwestern Air, North-Wright Airways, WestJet Encore.

Private airlines that also operate charter flights from are airport include: Nolinor Aviation


The airline has an extensive fleet of aircraft, with more registered under its aviation school. This fleet includes aircraft which specialise in firefighting (water-bombing), such as the Canadair CL-215 and Beechcraft Baron, and aircraft used for cargo transportation, including the Curtiss-Wright C-46 Commando.

For charter passenger services, the airline uses L-188 Electra’s, which can hold up to 33,000 lbs or be converted to provide a comfortable passenger flight. A King Air 100 and Basler BT-67 are also used for passenger flights.


The airline does not operate scheduled passenger flights.

Buffalo Airways operates private charter flights, and can fly both domestically and internationally. Popular routes include flights within Canada, to popular tourist destinations, with a focus on keeping northern communities served and thriving.

Cargo Flights

The airline operates regular cargo flights to the following destinations in the Northern Territories: Cambridge Bay, Déline, Fort Good Hope, Hay River, Kugluktuk, Norman Wells, Tulita.